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THROUGHOUT the present volume, references to 
Washington's Diary indicate the following work: 
"The Diary of George Washington, from 1789 to 1791; 
embracing the Opening of the First Congress, and his 
Tours through New England, Long Island, and the South- 
ern States, together with his Journal of a Tour to the 
Ohio, in 1753. Edited by Benson J. Lossing (Charles B. 
Richardson & Co., New York, MDCCCLX)." Identical 
sheets, bound up, with a similar title, were issued by the 
Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, 1861). In 1920 a 
volume was published at Summerfield, North Carolina, by 
Joseph A. Hoskins, entitled: "President Washington's 
Diaries, 1791 to 1799." Much of this material had never 
thitherto been published. In Lossing's volume, the last 
entry in the diary of 179 1 was June 1st, whereas the diary 
runs continuously to July 4th of that year. 

Throughout the present volume, any footnotes copied 
from the Lossing volume first mentioned will be followed 
by the designation: (B. J. L.) 

Of the original journals, eleven are in the Government 

archives at Washington, Library of Congress, two others 

are known to be extant, and there is probably a third. 

These journals, as described by Theodore F. Dwight ("The 

Journals of Washington," in Magazine of American History, 

vi, 2) are "thin, oblong in form, bound in half sheep, 

measuring seven by four and seven eighths inches, and are 


Prefatory Note 

numbered respectively i to n. The entries are continuous 
from January i, 1785, to February 2, 1789. Two of the 
series, numbered 13 and 14, it is understood, were presented 
to a friend by Judge Bushrod Washington. . . . There are 
among the archives thirteen leaves, evidently of sheets of 
letter paper, folded, cut, and pinned together, continuing 
the account of his Southern tour from June 2 to July 4, 
1791. . . ." Mr. John C. Fitzpatrick, Assistant Chief, Man- 
uscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 
states that, according to a memorandum, the Washington 
Diary covering the first five months of 1791 were some 
years ago in the possession of Mr. Bushrod Washington 
Adams, of Philadelphia. 

The extent of the investigations made in preparing this 
volume, the number of people supplying information, the 
number of libraries, historical societies, and other institu- 
tions which have been consulted, make a formidable total. 
While certain scholars have been particularly helpful and 
generous in supplying special information, in this place no 
distinction will be made in the acknowledgment, which 
takes the form of a simple catalogue of names, arranged 
alphabetically. For assistance rendered me in the prepara- 
tion of the present volume I am indebted to the following 
individuals and institutions: 

American Antiquarian Society; Dr. Joseph S. Ames, 
Baltimore, Maryland; A. B. Andrews, Raleigh, North 
Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia, Carnegie Library; P. H. Bas- 
kervill, Richmond, Virginia; P. B. Beard, Salisbury, 
North Carolina; Rev. Allen A. Beman, Fairfield, Connec- 


Prefatory Note 

ticut; Boston Athenaeum; John Carter Brown Library, 
Providence, Rhode Island; Miss Fannie B. Brownfield, 
Summerville, South Carolina; Dr. Philip Alexander 
Bruce, University, Virginia; James A. Bryan, New Berne, 
North Carolina; Mrs. Henry Buist, Charleston, South 
Carolina; Langdon Cheves, Charleston, South Carolina; 
D. M. Clark, Greenville, North Carolina; Corcoran Art 
Gallery; John Crerar Library, Chicago, Illinois; Professor 
W. F. Dunaway, State College, Pennsylvania; Mrs. 
Emma Henderson Dunn, New Berne, North Carolina; 
James Dunn, Petersburg, Virginia; Herman Le Roy Ed- 
gar, New York City; Thomas Fell, formerly President St. 
John's College, Annapolis, Maryland ; William H. Fleming, 
Augusta, Georgia; Miss Helen Frick, New York City; 
Miss Adelaide L. Fries, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; 
W. H. Gibbs, Columbia, South Carolina; Professor Alex- 
ander Graham, Charlotte, North Carolina; Miss Ida 
Hamilton, Asheville, North Carolina; William Harden, 
Savannah, Georgia; Harvard University; Walter Hazard 
and Miss Minnie Tamplet Hazard, Georgetown, South 
Carolina ; Joseph Jackson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; H. 
K. Jenkins, Charleston, South Carolina ; Theodore Jervey, 
Charleston, South Carolina; Charles Edgeworth Jones, 
Augusta, Georgia ; Lucien Lamar Knight, Atlanta, Geor- 
gia; Casenove G. Lee, Jr., Washington, D.C.; Mrs. 
Harriet K. Leiding, Charleston, South Carolina; John F. 
Lewis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Miss Sarah Martin, 
Winston-Salem, North Carolina; David Maydole Matte- 
son, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Albert Matthews, Bos- 


Prefatory Mote 

ton, Massachusetts ; H. R. Mcllwaine, Richmond, Virginia ; 
W. B . McKoy , Wilmington, North Carolina ; Fitzhugh Mc- 
Master, Columbia, South Carolina; Miss Fannie McNeely, 
Salisbury, North Carolina; Mrs. Lewis H. Meader, Provi- 
dence, Rhode Island; John M. Morehead, Charlotte, 
North Carolina; W. D. Morgan, Georgetown, South 
Carolina; New York Public Library; North Carolina His- 
torical Commission, Raleigh, North Carolina; North Car- 
olina University Library, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; 
R. A. Nunn, New Berne, North Carolina; Pennsylvania 
Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Mrs. W. 
H. Perry, Charleston, South Carolina; Walter G. Peter, 
Washington, D.C.; Miss C. W. Phifer, Charlotte, North 
Carolina; Robert P. Phifer, New York City; Miss Louisa 
B. Poppenheim, Charleston, South Carolina; Miss Lida 
T. Rodman, Washington, North Carolina; Archibald 
Rutledge, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania; A. S. Salley, Jr., 
Columbia, South Carolina; Miss Ruth Savord, New York 
City; Miss Maud G. Sites, Washington, D.C.; D. E. Huger 
Smith, Charleston, South Carolina; Henry A. M. Smith, 
Charleston, South Carolina; Henry Louis Smith, Lex- 
ington, Virginia; Yates Snowden, Columbia, South Caro- 
lina; Dr. F. A. Sondley, Asheville, North Carolina; 
Miss Florence P. Spofford, Washington, D.C. ; Dandridge 
Spotswood, Nashville, Tennessee; William G. Stanard, 
Richmond, Virginia; Paul C. Standley, Washington, D.C. ; 
Franklin Stearns, Alexandria, Virginia; G. N. Phelps 
Stokes, New York City; Earl G. Swem, Williamsburg, 
Virginia; Benjamin F. Taylor, Savannah, Georgia; George 

Prefatory Note 

C. Taylor, Columbia, South Carolina; Lyon G. Tyler, 
Holdcroft, Virginia; United States Navy Department, 
Washington, D.C.; Edward V. Valentine, Richmond, 
Virginia; Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia; Vir- 
ginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia; Mrs. Gabrielle 
de Rosset Waddell, Wilmington, North Carolina; Zeb- 
ulon V. Walzer, Lexington, North Carolina; Rev. William 
Way, Charleston, South Carolina ; Miss Mabel L. Webber, 
Charleston, South Carolina; David R. Williams, Camden, 
South Carolina; Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, 
Wisconsin; Mrs. Bayard Wootten, New Berne, North 
Carolina; Miss Eleanor P. Wragg, Stony Creek, Con- 
necticut; Yale University. 


Introduction: Washington and the American 
People xxi 

I. The Southern Tour: Plans and Preliminaries i 

II. The Start: Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 14 

III. The First Stage: Virginia: Fredericksburg, Rich- 
mond, Petersburg 35 

IV. The Second Stage: North Carolina: Halifax, Tar- 
borough, Greenville, New Berne 70 

V. The Third Stage: Wilmington, North Carolina, 
and Georgetown, South Carolina 103 

VI. The Fourth Stage: Charleston 144 

VII. The Fourth Stage: Charleston {continued) 179 

VIII. The Fifth Stage: Georgia: Savannah 199 

IX. The Sixth Stage: Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, 

South Carolina 231 

X. The Seventh Stage: Camden, South Carolina, and 
Charlotte, North Carolina 260 

XI. The Eighth Stage: North Carolina: Salisbury and 

Salem 292 

XII. The Ninth Stage: The Return to Mount Vernon 323 


George Washington Photogravure frontispiece 

From the portrait by Gilbert Stuart in the H. C. Frick Collection, New 
York. Reproduced by permission. 

This portrait, known as the Camperdown Stuart, is unique in that the 
Father of his Country here wears a brown coat similar to the one known to 
have belonged to Washington now among the relics at Mount Vernon. It 
is probably one of the two portraits painted for Mr. J. Vaughan, referred 
toon page 91 of George C. Mason's Life and Works of Gilbert Stuart, where 
he says, "The other portrait of Washington painted for J. Vaughan, and 
taken to England at the same time, remained there, and there it probably 
may still be found." It comes from the collection of the late Earl of 
Camperdown, Western House, Shipston-on-Stour, and was purchased by 
Mr. Frick in 1919. 

In the American Magazine of Art (or June, 1919, Mr. Charles Allen Munn 
thus refers to this portrait: "This portrait must have been painted nearly 
one hundred and twenty-five years ago, and it presumably has been pass- 
ing a long period of peaceful and dignified retreat in the obscurity of some 
English country home. If the canvas only could speak and reveal its his- 
tory what a story it might tell! Where has it been all these years? Under 
what circumstances was it sent to England? Was it for an American or an 
Englishman? Was it taken to its late home shortly after it was painted or 
was it taken there during the last century? Perhaps some day these ques- 
tions will be answered. There are certain questions the portrait answers 
for itself. It is a work of Stuart of the first order, painted in his best style. 
It is convincing and satisfying. It represents the President in the dignity 
of his great office, and it is a real portrait of this great man." 

Alexander Martin 4 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1888, after a photograph of the 
original painting 

William Blount 8 

From a miniature attributed to James Peale owned by J. C. Febbes, Esq., 
a lineal descendant of Blount 

Edward Rutledge 8 

From a painting 

William Jackson 16 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1888, after the painting by John 
Trumbull in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania 

Saint John's College, Annapolis, Maryland 24 

From an old drawing 

Thomas Johnson 28 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1890 



Daniel Carroll 28 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1888, after a photograph of the 
original painting 

"George Town, and City of Washington 32 

From an engraving by George Cooke after a large print. Published in 
London by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orne & Brown, Paternoster Row, 
June 1, 1812 

"Mount Vernon, the Seat of the late General Wash- 
ington" 36 

From an old print engraved by A. Dick 

Two Views of Mount Vernon as it is To-Day 37 

Fielding Lewis 40 

From a portrait in the Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia 

General Alexander Spotswood 46 

From a painting 

Elizabeth Washington, who became Mrs. Alexander 
Spotswood 46 

From a painting 

View of Richmond 50 

From a painting in the Valentine Museum, Richmond 
Edward Carrington 54 

From an etching by Max Rosenthal 

Mrs. David Meade Randolph 60 

From a portrait by St. Memin 

David Meade Randolph 60 

From a portrait drawn and engraved by St. Memin, Philadelphia 

Dry-Point Etching of Washington by Joseph Wright 68 
John Baptista Ashe 76 

From a heliotype from an ivory miniature owned by Mrs. Mary Sheppard 
Crawford, great-granddaughter, Little Rock, Arkansas 

Thomas Blount 76 

From, a portrait by St. Memin in the possession of Mr. Blount's great- 
great-niece, Miss Lida T. Rodman, Washington, N.C. 

Richard Dobbs Spaight 76 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1887, from a photograph of a mini- 



John Sitgreaves 76 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal 

The John Stanly House in New Berne, North Caro- 
lina 88 

Washington as a Mason 92 

From an engraving by A. B. Walter 

Tryon Palace, New Berne 96 

George Washington, by Savage 104 

From an engraving (published June 25, 1793) by Edward Savage after the 
portrait painted by him for Harvard College 

Benjamin Smith 120 

From a portrait by St. Memin 

William Henry Hill 120 

From a portrait by St. Memin 

Colonel William Alston 126 

From a painting 

Colonel William Washington 127 

From an engraving by J. B. Forrest after a portrait by C. W. Peale in 
Peak's Museum, Philadelphia 

General William Moultrie 127 

From an engraving after a portrait by John Trumbull 

Pyatt, or Allston, House, Georgetown, South Carolina 130 

Facsimile of Washington's Reply to Address of George- 
town Citizens 134 

General Thomas Pinckney 138 

From an engraving by W. G. Armstrong after a miniature in oil by John 

"Hampton" 139 

From Plantation Game Trails, by Archibald Rutledge 

The Washington Oak, "Hampton" 139 

"A View of Charles Town the Capital of South Caro- 
lina in North America" 146 

From an old print 

Mantelpiece in Thomas Heyward House, Charleston 150 



General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 154 

From a painting 

Intendant Vanderhorst 158 

From a painting 

Mordecai Gist 158 

From an engraving by W. A. Wilmer after a painting formerly in the pos- 
session of Dr. J. Paul Cockey, of Baltimore 

John Rutledge 162 

From an engraving by G. F. Storm from a drawing by James Herring 
after the original by John Trumbull 

Mrs. John Rutledge 162 

From the painting by John Trumbull 

The John Rutledge House 166 

The Exchange, Charleston 170 

View of Church Street, Charleston, showing Judge 
Heyward's Mansion 170 

Ralph Izard 174 

From a lithograph after a drawing by C. Deas from a miniature by Meyer 

Thomas Sumter 180 

From an engraving 

Pierce Butler 180 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1888, after a photograph of a mini- 

Charles Pinckney 184 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1888, after a photograph of the 
original painting 

Washington on the Eve of the Battle of Princeton 190 

From the painting by Trumbull in the Yale School of Fine Arts 

George Washington, painted by Trumbull for the City 
of Charleston 191 

From the original in Charleston 

St. Philip's Church, Charleston 196 

From an old print 

Pew occupied by Washington in St. Michael's Church, 
Charleston 196 



St. Michael's Church 197 

From an old woodcut 

Thomas Heyward, Jr. 204 

From a painting by J. Frazer after R. Theus in Independence Hall, Phila- 

Mrs. Nathanael Greene 206 

From a painting 

Noble W. Jones 210 

From an engraving by H. Robinson in C. C. Jones's History of Georgia 
Anthony Wayne 210 

From an engraving by E. Prudhomme after a drawing by James Herring 
from a sketch by Trumbull 

Joseph Habersham 210 

From an engraving by J. Gross from a painting by W. G. Conarroe after 

Lachlan McIntosh 210 

From an engraving by Hoppner Meyer from a painting by J. B. Longacre 
after an original portrait 

Washington's Headquarters in Savannah 211 

From Historic and Picturesque Savannah 

The Harbor of Savannah 220 

From an engraving after a painting by Vernet 

General James Jackson 228 

From an engraving from a drawing by J. B. Longacre after St. Memin 

General Nathanael Greene 232 

From a portrait by Charles W. Peale owned by his great-granddaughter 
Mrs. William B. Greene, Jr. 

George Walton 236 

From an etching by Albert Rosenthal, 1888, from the painting in Inde- 
pendence Hall 

House of Dr. E. E. Murphy, Augusta, Georgia 240 

General Wade Hampton 250 

From a lithograph by Max Rosenthal 

The State House at Columbia, May, 1794 254 

From an engraving by James Akin, Philadelphia 

Commodore Alexander Gillon 258 

From a painting 



Robert Field's Engraving of Washington after a Paint- 
ing by Walter Robertson 266 

Published by Walter Robertson, August I, 1795 

The Richard Champion Plaque of Washington, presented 
to Washington in 1791 272 

Now owned by Mr. W. G. Peter, of Washington, and on exhibition in the 
National Museum 

Engraving of Washington by Barthelemy Joseph Fule- 
van Roger after the Medallion painted by the Mar- 
quise de Brehan in New York, 1789 284 

Montfort Stokes 296 

From a painting 
General John Steele 300 

From the miniature by James Peale 

Judge Spruce Macay 300 

From a drawing 

Old Pictures of King George and Queen Charlotte 

BURY, North Carolina 304 

Inscription written by Nathanael Greene on Back of 
Picture of King George 305 

Facsimile of Washington's Reply to Citizens of Salis- 
bury 308 

Salem Tavern, Salem, North Carolina 312 

Salem Tavern Tablet 312 

Salem Gemeinhaus 316 

From a drawing 

Frederick William Marshall 317 

Salem Brothers' House 320 

Salem Sisters' House 320 

Stuart Portrait of Washington at Washington and Lee 
University, Lexington, Virginia 330 

From the original by Gilbert Stuart, discovered by accident in 1922 in an 
unnoticed corner of the Lee Memorial Chapel at Washington and Lee 
University by Mr. Arthur Dawson, official portrait-painter of the United 
States Military Academy 



Washington and the American People 

IN Washington's tours of Northern, Eastern, and 
Southern States in 1789, 1790, and 1791, "swinging 
around the circle" for the first time entered American 
history. It is singular, indeed almost inexplicable, that the 
biographers of Washington have passed over, with but 
casual observation, these tours of the country by the first 
President. 1 For the story of these tours, as preserved in 
the literature, press, and correspondence of the time, is a 
fruitful instrumentality for discovering and disclosing to 
us the character of Washington — his attitude toward the 
people, his modes of thinking, his "reactions" to exter- 
nals, his principles and theories, and even his vanities and 
prejudices. The picture which unrolls before us in bright 
pageantry is — if you please — American Democracy on 
the Grand Tour. 

The central figure in this unfolding panorama is Wash- 
ington. The background, scarcely secondary to him in in- 
terest, is the American People. The Southern tour, with 
which we are here concerned, gave Washington — and 
gives us — a clear view of the South of that day, its agri- 
cultural, political, social, and cultural condition. An ex- 
traordinarily keen observer, trained as surveyor, farmer, 
and soldier, Washington noted in his deliberately imper- 

1 Neither Woodrow Wilson nor Henry Cabot Lodge even so much as 
makes mention of the Southern tour. 



sonal diaries the features of the country which came under 
his immediate observation, and interpreted them with 
skill and sagacity. Through his eyes we see the South of 
1791 — its fields and streams, mountains and plains — not 
as mere beauties of nature, but as the instruments of 
farmer and planter, of manufacturer and trader. As in an 
open book he read the story of the Republic — the place 
and the people. 

Fortunate, indeed, was Washington in enjoying his 
legend in his own lifetime. Few are they who are witnesses 
of their own immortality. The decision to tour the coun- 
try was a mark of true wisdom. Intoxicated with the 
heady draught of the Revolution, the American people 
proudly rejoiced in the conscious belief that the Presi- 
dent of the United States, as a dramatic and conspicuous 
figure, was unrivalled by any sovereign of Europe. With 
almost naive pride and authentic hero worship, the people 
adored the very name of Washington, and revelled in every 
opportunity afforded them to pay him the sincere and 
lavish tributes of affection and gratitude. "There was 
everywhere" — on this Southern tour as on Washing- 
ton's journey to his first inauguration — "a running to- 
gether from all the country roundabout of people who 
bore themselves not as mere sight-seers, but as if they had 
come out of love for the man they were to see pass by. It 
was not their numbers but their manner that struck their 
hero with a new sense of responsibility. ... He was . . . 
their guarantee of the new government's good faith, of its 

respect for law and its devotion to liberty; and they made 



him know . . . their confidence in the very tone of their 
greeting. There was the manifest touch of love in the re- 
ception everywhere prepared for him." 1 

There need be no cause for wonder that the people 
looked up to Washington as a hero. For he was indeed a 
knightly figure. Washington was the very embodiment of 
the popular idea of a hero. Six feet four inches tall, bal- 
ancing the scales at two hundred, he was distinguished in 
figure, majestic in mien, benignant in expression. As sur- 
veyor, fox-hunter, continental courier, wilderness ambas- 
sador, soldier and military commander, he had lived a 
strenuous life in the great open spaces; and was known as 
the most graceful horseman of his age. A man of intense 
passions held under rigorous control, he had mild gray 
eyes which on occasion could flash lightning and pale 
cheeks which could mantle with the flush of anger. Diffi- 
dent in manner, aloof in spirit, he knew how to unbend, to 
charm with the graciousness of his smile, the friendliness of 
his disposition. The firm forehead, Roman nose, deep-set 
eyes, and powerful lower jaw united to form the very 
facial image of a man born to command. The gravity of 
his mien was accentuated by the conviction that in this 
way he could impress the people with the dignity of the 
office of President of the United States. 

The clever, vitriolic Bache held up to scorn Washing- 
ton's "stately journeyings through the American conti- 
nent in search of personal incense." And the unspeakable 
Callender ranted of "the vileness of the adulation" paid 

1 Woodrow Wilson: George Washington. 



to Washington, in atrabiliar mood asserting that "the ex- 
travagant popularity possessed by this citizen reflects the 
utmost ridicule on the discernment of America." And 
even Jefferson, in none too gracious a mood, frankly ad- 
mits that "such is the popularity of the President that the 
people will support him in whatever he will do or will not 
do, without appealing to their own reason or to anything 
but their feelings toward him." Far from going on tour 
"in search of personal incense," Washington was actuated 
by the desire to win the good-will, the support, of the 
people for the General Government. This he hoped best 
to accomplish through his own presence; and through his 
addresses in which he made constant appeal for the support 
of the Federal Government. "Its policy," as embodied in 
himself, "must make the States a nation, must stir the 
people out of their pettiness as colonists and provincials, 
and give them a national character and spirit." The follow- 
ing words from his first inaugural address might almost 
serve as the epitome of his policy as President, of which 
his tours of the country were but a single expression: "The 
propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a na- 
tion that disregards the eternal laws of order and right, 
which Heaven itself has ordained; and the preservation of 
the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican 
model of government, are justly considered as deeply ■, per- 
haps as finally staked, on the experiment intrusted to the 
hands of the American people." This ideal he could for- 
ward by touring the country. For he was past-master in 

the art of social correctness — to which John Adams at- 



tributed much of his celebrity. And, as we have seen, his 
head was aureoled with the halo of heroism. "The per- 
sonal appearance of the President, representing the whole 
people, would serve to bring home to the public mind the 
existence and reality of a central government, which to 
many if not to most persons in the outlying States seemed 
shadowy and distant. But General Washington was 
neither shadowy nor distant to any one. Every man, 
woman, and child had heard of and loved the leader of the 
Revolution. To his countrymen everywhere, his name 
meant political freedom and victory in battle; and when he 
came among them as the head of a new government, the 
government took on in some measure the character of its 
chief. His journey was a well-calculated appeal for his 
cause, to the warm human interest which a man readily ex- 
cites, but which only gathers slowly around constitutions 
and forms of government." 1 

The story of Washington's journey through the South- 
ern States is fully worthy of narration — if for one 
reason only. On this tour, we see Washington the man 
rather than Washington the statesman. Once again he 
lives the life he loved best — the life of the free air and the 
open road. The cultured and discerning gentleman who 
was his constant companion and aide upon the tour gives 
us this arresting picture of Washington: "Enriched by 
Nature with her choicest gifts — she had with equal liber- 
ality, bestowed upon him the greatest advantages of ex- 
ternal form, and the highest degree of intellectual endow- 

1 H. C. Lodge : George Washington. 


ment. To the noble port of a lofty stature, were united 
uncommon grace, strength, and symmetry of person. And, 
to the commanding aspect of manly beauty, was given 
the benignant smile, which, inspiring confidence, created 
affection." Upon this tour the whole armory of Wash- 
ington's qualities and gifts — personal, political, social — 
were tested to the full. Even affairs of state could not be 
wholly set aside — for documents and letters continued to 
pursue him, if with somewhat laggard pace. For the most 
part, however, Washington's business was pleasure — in a 
word to prove himself a "good mixer," to justify the ven- 
eration amounting to adoration entertained for him by the 
people, irrespective of rank, class, age, or sex. Many inci- 
dents of this tour give color, life, and animation to a fig- 
ure commonly regarded as frigid and remote. The stilted 
chromo which was the eidolon bequeathed to posterity by 
the earlier biographers of Washington is giving place to a 
lovable figure of genuine human interest. 

Although it be the fashion of British historians to speak 
of Washington as an English country gentleman, certain 
it is that he was a native of Virginia. By the American 
people of his day, Washington was regarded as the su- 
preme embodiment of the genius, wisdom, and leadership 
of the South. It is true that Washington was a citizen 
of the world, as well as head of the whole country — a 
country which, in the course of his military campaigns in 
the French and Indian War and the Revolution, he had 
come to know intimately and deeply to love. Yet we 

should not lose sight of the fact that Washington was a 



typical Virginian of his day. When Washington visited 
New York, New England, or Pennsylvania, he was travel- 
ling off his native heath. When he journeyed through 
Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, he was travelling 
around at home. . . . 

In supreme degree, Washington exhibited the distinc- 
tive attributes of Virginia and the South. "Something in 
her air or her life," says Woodrow Wilson in speaking of 
the Virginia of that period, "had given her in these latter 
years an extraordinary breed of public men — men liber- 
ated from local prejudice, possessed of a vision and an 
efficacy in affairs worthy of the best traditions of states- 
manship among the English race from which they were 
sprung, capable of taking the long view, of seeing the per- 
manent lines of leadership upon great questions, and shap- 
ing ordinary views to meet extraordinary ends." l The 
great Virginians, as Garrott Brown has pointed out — 
Washington and Henry and Jefferson, Mason and Mar- 
shall and Madison, the Lees and the Randolphs — "were 
anything but gay cavaliers": they were "deliberate and 
stately, slow of thought and full resolved in action." 2 De- 
ficient in the debonair light-heartedness all too glibly at- 
tributed to the Southern cavalier, Washington was en- 
dowed with all the social graces of the old Virginia aristoc- 
racy. About him was an air of benignant gravity, of high 
seriousness, which comported well with the temper of the 
age. "In battle, calm and collected; in council, dignified 

1 George Washington (1897). 

' " George Washington, Southerner," The Independent, vol. 56. 



and serene; in society, gracious and condescending." By 
no means deficient in the sense of humor, he held as firm 
a rein over his risibility as over his temper. His personal 
relationships and friendships were numerous and cordial. 
His was that rare quality — the gift of at once winning 
friendship and inspiring reverence. Toward men he was 
friendly without intimacy, cordial without familiarity; 
toward women he was genial and winning, his manner 
touched with something of ardency and sentiment. 

In the eyes of the people, Washington was the ideal 
leader — confident, self-contained, imperturbable. The 
unbreakable tenacity of his purpose, the wisdom of his de- 
cisions, the unselfishness of his nature, the purity of his 
character — these qualities blended in a well-nigh perfect 
whole. "The acknowledgement of his transcendent mer- 
its," says his inseparable companion upon the Southern 
tour, "was the delightful theme of every class and condi- 
tion. Infancy was taught to lisp his praise — youth and 
manhood poured forth the effusions of their gratitude — 
and the blessings of age were expressed with the fervor of 
feeling and the solemnity of religion." 

Washington's Southern Tour 






Plans and Preliminaries 
MONG the important decisions concerning the du- 

ties of his high office which Washington gravely 
reached shortly after becoming first President of the 
American Confederation was to visit every part of the 
United States during the course of his administration of 
the government. As early as May, 1789, he had given 
definite expression to the idea of making a tour of all the 
States "in order to become better acquainted with their 
principal characters and internal circumstances, as well as 
to be more accessible to numbers of well-informed persons, 
who might give him useful information and advice on 
political subjects." During the recess of Congress, in 
anticipation of making a tour of the Eastern States, he dis- 
cussed the matter with Alexander Hamilton (October 5, 
1789), who thought it a very desirable plan and advised 
him to carry it out. The purpose of the trip, as Washing- 
ton explained, was "to acquire knowledge of the face of the 
country, the growth and agriculture thereof — and the 

TVashiyigton's Southern Tour 

temper and disposition of the inhabitants towards the new 
government." Being eventually convinced of the pro- 
priety of making such a tour, Washington visited the East- 
ern States, being away from New York for the interval 
October 15 to November 13, 1789. During nearly the 
whole distance he was attended "by military escorts, which 
were prepared to receive him at different points on the 
route. In all the principal towns, also, he was greeted with 
public addresses, the ringing of bells, entertainments, and 
every demonstration of joy from the whole body of the 
people." * 

At the time of making this tour Rhode Island had not 
yet become a part of the Union. In consequence, Wash- 
ington did not pass through that State on his tour of the 
Eastern States. Following the ratification of the Consti- 
tution by Rhode Island on May 29th, Washington visited 
that State in August, 1790, being absent from the 14th 
until the 24th. A secondary reason for both these trips 
was to escape for a time from the cares of office, the con- 
fining duties of the Presidency, and to secure the benefi- 
cial effects of exercise in the open air. This was espe- 
cially true in the case of the Rhode Island visit, which 
followed a serious illness in the May preceding. He re- 
turned from this trip, on which he was "everywhere cor- 
dially welcomed by the inhabitants," much improved in 
health — the sea air, as well as the exercise and change 
of scene having proved beneficial. 

As early as October 7, 1789, the question of a tour of the 

1 Sparks: Writings of Washington, vol. x, footnote pp. 46-47. 

Plans and Preliminaries 

Southern States was broached. When Washington on this 
day consulted John Jay as to the propriety of his " intended 
tour into the Eastern States, he (Jay) highly approved it," 
says Washington in his diary, "but observed, a similar 
visit will be expected by those of the Southern." There 
was little choice between East and South — for each sec- 
tion exhibited the spectacle of a single State still holding 
out against the Constitution; the East with Rhode Island 
and the South with North Carolina. With characteristic 
courtesy, Washington made his first visit to the East — 
for the South was his own place. But after North Car- 
olina ratified the Constitution on November 13, 1790, 
there was no longer any reason why he should not go on a 
tour of the Southern States — and "make it unanimous." 
This he was doubtless eager to do — because already a 
"spirit of jealousy" toward the Eastern States was fast 
growing in the South, especially in Virginia. 1 

To let the people see him and come in contact with him 
in a democratic way, to ingratiate himself in the favor of 
the masses, to awake their sympathies and evoke their 
support for the general government through attachment 
to his own person — surely these were guiding motives 
in making this tour, no less than those already cited which 
Washington gave out to the public. If at times, as Chaun- 
cey Ford somewhat hypercritically suggests, Washington 
appeared "to have been too anxious to test the popular 
feeling, and to place too high a value upon opinion as 

1 Consult letter to Washington from Dr. David Stuart (Abingdon, 
Virginia, March 15, 1790). 


Washington's Southern Tour 

expressed to him by those who stood well with the people," 
surely his tour of the Southern States exhibits a thoroughly 
laudable human trait — the desire to discern the true 
trend of public opinion, the true complexion of the pop- 
ular mind, for his guidance in the proper conduct of the 
affairs of government. It is not to be a demagogue to 
inform one's self regarding the consensus of opinion in a 

In a letter written to Washington at New York from 
Charleston, South Carolina, December 14, 1789, Governor 
Charles Pinckney said : " From your late tour we are flat- 
tered with the hope of your one day visiting this country 
— whenever you so far honour us I am sure that every 
thing in our power will be done to render your Visit pleas- 
ing and agreeable to you." To this letter, Washington 
made the following reply (New York, January 11, 1790): 

My late tour through the eastern States has been of 
salutary consequence in confirming my health. I have like- 
wise had an opportunity of seeing how far the country is 
recovered from the ravages of war, and how well the inhabit- 
ants are disposed to support the general government. 

Not being master of my own time, nor accustomed to make 
personal engagements, which from contingency might be- 
come impracticable, I can only say in regard to the last para- 
graph of your letter, that nothing would give me more pleas- 
ure than to visit all the Southern States. 

The news that Washington contemplated making this 
tour gradually spread through the Southern States. It 
eventually reached Governor Alexander Martin, of North 
Carolina, a great admirer of Washington, with whom he 
had been thrown in close relations during the Revolution. 






Plans and Preliminaries 

On August 7, 1 790, Washington appointed William Blount, 1 
of North Carolina, Governor of the "Territory South of 
the Ohio River." 2 Blount had commended himself to 
Washington by his active efforts in behalf of the adop- 
tion of the Constitution by North Carolina at the conven- 
tion in Fayetteville, in November, 1789. Of titled ances- 
try, courtly in manner, of commanding presence, a man of 
the world, Blount was certainly the choice of the western 
inhabitants as well as of the State of North Carolina. Upon 
receiving notice of his appointment, Blount set out for 
Mount Vernon to consult the President upon his new ap- 
pointment. The letter which follows, hitherto unpublished, 
is here printed in full, because of the intimate picture it 

1 William Blount, son of Jacob Blount and Barbara Gray, his first wife, 
was born in Bertie County, North Carolina, March 26, 1749. Pursued pre- 
paratory studies in New Berne, North Carolina. Paymaster of Continen- 
tal troops, North Carolina line, 1778; member North Carolina House of 
Commons, 1780-84; sat in the Continental Congress in 1782, 1783, 1786, 
and 1787. He was delegate to the convention that framed the Federal Con- 
stitution in 1787; and it was here at Philadelphia that Washington made 
his acquaintance. He was a member of the North Carolina State Senate, 
1788-90; and represented Pitt County in the State Convention of 1789 
which adopted the Federal Constitution. After serving as Governor of the 
"Territory South of the Ohio River" and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 
1790-96, he was elected to the United States Senate. He held office from 
August 2, 1796, until he was found guilty "of a high misdemeanor, entirely 
inconsistent with his public trust and duty as a Senator," and was expelled 
July 8, 1797. It was charged that he was active in a plan to incite the 
Creeks and Cherokees to aid the British in conquering the Spanish territory 
of West Florida. During the trial he was elected to the State Senate of 
Tennessee and chosen its president at the opening of the session, December 
3, 1797. He died in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 21, 1800. 

2 After the efforts of the pioneers of what is now Tennessee to establish 
the independent State of Frankland had proved abortive, North Carolina 
ceded these lands to the United States, which were accepted by Congress, 
April 21, 1790. The ceded area was erected into "The Territory South of 
the Ohio River." Consult Archibald Henderson: Pioneers of the Old South- 
west. (Century Co., New York, 1920.) 


Washington's Southern Tour 

presents of the life of the Washington family at Mount 
Vernon, as well as for its reference at this early date to 
Washington's plans, already well matured, for visiting the 
Southern States following the conclusion of the approach- 
ing session of Congress : 

John Gray Blount Esquire, 

Washington, North Carolina. 

I arrived here on Friday; visited the President at Mount 
Vernon on Saturday, stayed all night and returned yesterday. 
He has referred me to the Attorney General Mr. Randolph, 
at Philadelphia. And I shall proceed to him to-morrow 
morning at 3 o'clock in the Stage and if I do not lose a Stage 
I shall be here again on this day week at 12 o'clock. From 
this I shall proceed to the ceded Territory without delay. 

I have been much pleased with my visit to Mount Vernon, 
the President appears great and amiable, indeed admirable. 
Mrs. Washington is certainly one of the most agreeable ladies 
of the whole world. Major Washington, his nephew, is a 
handsome, genteel, attentive man, his lady, Mrs. Washing- 
ton's niece, is handsome and elegant, and the little grand- 
children of Mrs. Washington, the children of Mr. Custis are 
very promising. Except that the President is too awful, I 
verily believe he is as awful (awe inspiring) as a God, Mount 
Vernon is the most agreeable place I ever saw. The house is 
not elegant having originally been begun on too small a scale, 
but it is now very roomy and commodious and the dining 
room is very large and elegant. It stands about 200 paces 
from the brink of the hill which overlooks the Potomac, the 
height of the bank is from 80 to 100 feet above the bed of the 
River. Mount Vernon is highly improved with a number of 
necessary buildings, good gardens, and if I am a judge fine 
and elegant ones. Delightful walks, straight, circular and 
serpentine handsomely and tastily shaded with the best 
chosen trees. Among them the Lombardy poplar, or the pop- 
lar of the Po of which Ovid sang many hundred years ago is 
found and much admired. 


Plans and Preliminaries 

The style and manner of his living surpasses what I have 
before seen particularly in dignity; and I suppose I saw him 
living on his own funds, not those of the United States in 
fact Major Jackson so informed me. 

At the request of Governor Martin, I asked him if it was 
true as we had heard to the Southward that he intended this 
autumn to visit the Southern States, he answered that he 
wished to do so but had not time as his presence at Phila- 
delphia would be necessary some days previous to the meet- 
ing of Congress. Then the subject was dropped and after- 
wards he renewed it by saying that he supposed the approach- 
ing session of Congress would not be a long one and that the 
new Congress would not hold a Spring Session and in that 
case he should make a Tour to the South as far as Savannah 
and Augusta in the months of March, April and May. That 
he should proceed by the lower road and return by the upper, 
or the reverse, and from what fell in the course of conver- 
sation on the subject I think he will proceed via Norfolk, 
Edenton, Washington, New Bern, Wilmington, Charleston, 
Savannah then up to Augusta and return by way of Colum- 
bia, Campden, Charlotte, Salisbury thence the most direct 
Road to Richmond leaving Petersburg to the right. 

I have given this information to Gov. Martin so that you 
may shortly expect to hear of pompous orders for equiping 
and training the Cavalry. And perhaps it may induce the 
Overseers of Roads and Ferry-Keepers to mend their ways 
and repair, or rebuild new boats. If the very greatest atten- 
tion and respect is not paid to him, he will be greatly disap- 
pointed and mortified for to the North the contention has 
been who should pay him the most. 

Major Jackson says from Boston to the line of New Hamp- 
shire he was attended by 400 Cavalry and was there met by 
Governor Sullavan [?] at the head of 700. Give Sam Simpson 
notice that he may have his company in complete order. 

I want Mollie and my children to see him for certainly 
such another Man will not appear again in these days. I 
would not like the contents of this letter to get into the press 
yet I would wish it generally known to such as would be in- 

Washington^ 's Southern Tour 

duced to prepare for his Reception in any way whatever. His 
object in coming I suppose is more to be seen and to gratify 
the Southern people in seeing him than to see himself, tho' 
his ostensible object is to see the Southern States. 

Yours — &c 

Wm. Blount. 1 

In the midst of the trying duties of the Presidency, 
Washington looked forward with eagerness to the thought 
of the Southern tour. As the spirit of the dust-begrimed 
traveller eagerly looks to the green and cool oasis, so the 
heart of Washington turned toward the South. Reminders 
of his project reached him from time to time, in the shape 
of letters of invitation, notably one from his kinsman, 
Colonel William Washington, who lived in Charleston, 
with a country place, "Sandy Hill," some fifteen miles dis- 
tant. In his reply, written from Philadelphia (January 8, 
1 791), Washington gave voice to that cautious and tact- 
ful purpose which, characteristically enough, he had thus 
early formulated concerning the question of entertainment 
on the contemplated tour. 

It is my intention to visit the Southern States next spring, 
provided the Congress should not meet immediately on the 
rising of the present, which will be on the 3d of March. If it 
should not be in my power to leave this place by the middle 
of next month I must give up my tour for this reason, as set- 

1 This letter was courteously supplied me by Miss Lida T. Rodman, of 
Washington, North Carolina, a descendant of the Blount family. She is 
the author of a biography of William Blount soon to appear. John Gray 
Blount, brother to William, was a pioneer as a youth with Daniel Boone 
in Kentucky; and became a man of great prominence, wealth, and influence 
in Beaufort County, North Carolina. The "Mollie" of the letter refers to 
William Blount's wife, Mary, daughter of Colonel Caleb Grainger, prom- 
inent in the Revolution. Cf. Life and Services of William Blount, by M. J. 
Wright. (Washington, 1884.) 



Plans and Preliminaries 

ting out at a later period would bring me into the Southern 
States in the warm and sickly months, a circumstance which 
I would wish by all means to avoid. But, Sir, you will permit 
me to decline the acceptance of your polite invitation; for I 
cannot comply with it without involving myself in an incon- 
sistency; as I have determined to pursue the same plan in my 
southern as I did in my eastern visit, which was, not to in- 
commode any private families by taking up my quarters with 
them during my journey. I am persuaded you will readily see 
the necessity of the resolution, both as it respects myself and 
others. It leaves me unembarrased by engagements, and by a 
uniform adherence to it I shall avoid giving umbrage to any, 
by declining all such invitations. 

In this same letter Washington states that the trip — full 
of hardships of a sort, over many a bad road, and requir- 
ing the not infrequent interruption of the habitual routine 
of sleep and rest — would prove too severe a tax upon Mrs. 
Washington, who would, therefore, not accompany him. 

Another letter of invitation, from a very warm friend, 
Edward Rutledge, 1 of South Carolina — the third friend 

1 Edward Rutledge, born in Charleston, 1 749 ; died there, 1 800. Student of 
law at the Temple, London. Attended courts of law and Houses of Parlia- 
ment for four years. Married Harriet, daughter of Henry Middleton, soon 
after his return to Charleston. Practiced law successfully. In 1774 he was 
sent to the Continental Congress. Signer of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. Remained Member of Congress until 1777. As captain in the Charles- 
ton Artillery, of which he afterwards became lieutenant-colonel, he as- 
sisted in dislodging British regulars from Port Royal in 1779. Captured 
in 1780, he was confined at St. Augustine for a year. Member of State 
Constitutional Convention in 1790. Declined office of Associate Justice, 
United States Supreme Court, in 1791. Elected Governor of South Caro- 
lina in 1798, but did not live to complete his term. In an obituary in the 
Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser (January 25, 1800) occur these 
words: "His eloquence, which shone forth in the Senate, and at the Bar, 
was brilliant and impressive; it pleased the ear and went home to the heart. 
Rich in ideas and happy in his manner of expressing them, he was ac- 
customed to command attention, to delight as well as to persuade his 

Washington* s Southern Tour 

to write him from Charleston extending invitations to him 
to visit that place and personally offering hospitality — 
deserves quotation in full, as does Washington's reply. It 
is believed that neither letter has hitherto appeared in 
print. The affectionate, even lovable tone of the letters 
is to be noted. It was said of Rutledge as a lawyer by Dr. 
Ramsay, the historian of South Carolina: "To advance his 
personal interest was a secondary object; to do good, to 
promote peace, to heal breaches, to advance justice, was a 
primary one." Follows Rutledge's letter to Washington : 

Charleston Nov r II** 1790 
My dear Sir, 

I have lately received Letters, from some of my Friends in 
Congress, which give me Reason to hope that, the time is not 
far distant, when we shall have the Happiness of seeing you 
in this State; and there is no Citizen in this Country, who 
feels a stronger attachment to you than I do, or would be 
more rejoiced at your coming, I hope you will permit me to 
request that, you would make my House your Head Quarters, 
whilst you remain in this City. I know there are many Per- 
sons who would prize the Honor which I seek, as justly as 
they ought; but the great, & never failing Regard that I have 
cherished towards you, from the first moments of my Polit- 
ical Life, thro' all the Chances of War, & the Turns of For- 
tune, gives me I should hope at least an equal, if not a supe- 
rior Claim to you; & entitles me, to lodge under my own Roof, 
the President, in the Friend. As another Inducement, I must 
assure you my dear Sir, that we have not, one Public House, 
in the whole State, which is fit for your Reception; and that 
to be accomodated with even a moderate Degree of Con- 
venience, you must receive it in a private House. If therefore 
you will not take up your Residence in mine, I must provide 
you with one from among some of my particular Friends who 
may be in the Country. It is your only alternative; and as I 
know full well, how your own Inclination would direct you, 


Plans and Preliminaries 

I hope that no Consideration may intervene to prevent it. 
Excuse me my dear Sir if I shew too much Solicitude on this 
occasion, & attribute it to its true Cause, — the real attach- 
ment with which I ever am, your very affectionate Friend 
and obliged Hble Serv 1 

Ed: Rutledge 1 

Washington replied in the following letter: 

Philadelphia, 16 January, 1791. 
My dear Sir, 

I can but love and thank you, and I do it sincerely, for your 
polite and friendly letter of the nth of November, which 
came to my hands the day before yesterday only. The senti- 
ments contained in it are such as have uniformly flowed from 
your pen, and they are not less flattering than pleasing to me. 

The present Congress can sit no longer than the 4th of 
March, and should it not be found expedient to convene the 
new one immediately upon the rising of it — and should not 
the old one, by Acts of the present session, cut out work for the 
Executive, which may render my absence from the seat of 
government (soon after the adjournment) incompatible with 
my public duties; I shall most assuredly indulge myself in a 
tour thro' the Southern States in the Spring — But it will 
readily be perceived that this event must depend upon the 
time I shall be able to commence the journey, for I do not 
hesitate to acknowledge, that I am not inclined to be in the 
southernmost States after the month of May ; and my journey 
must, on many accounts be made slow and easy. 

It was among my first determinations when I entered upon 
the duties of my present station to visit every part of the 
United States in the Course of my administration of the 
government, provided my health and other circumstances 
would admit of it — and this determination was accompanied 
with another: viz. — not, by making my head quarters in pri- 
vate families, to become troublesome to them in any of these 
tours — The first I have accomplished in part only, without 
departing in a single instance from the second, although 

1 In Letters to Washington, the Washington MSS., Library of Congress. 


Washington? s Southern Tour 

pressed to it by the most civil and cordial invitations — ■ 
After having made this communication you will readily per- 
ceive, my dear Sir, that it is not in my power (however it 
might comport with my inclinations,) to change my plan, 
without exposing myself to the charge of inconsistency, if not 
something more exceptionable — especially too, as it is not 
more than ten days since I declined a very kind and friendly 
invitation from my namesake and kinsman Colonel W. 
Washington of your State to lodge at his house when I 
should visit Charleston — 

With affectionate esteem and regard 
I am, my dear Sir, 

Your most obedient Servant, 

G. Washington. 1 

Despite the unsettled state of the Northwest due to the 
recalcitrancy of the Indians, the country on the whole was 
in a stable and prosperous condition. Washington felt that 
he could now undertake the tour of the Southern States 
with a carefree spirit. To his warm friend and admirer, 
Colonel David Humphreys, 2 our minister to Portugal, he 

1 Washington MSS., Library of Congress. 

2 David Humphreys, born at Derby, Connecticut, July, 1754. After his 
graduation from Yale College in 1771, he entered the army at the opening 
of the Revolution with the rank of captain. In 1778 he was attached to 
the staff of General Putnam, whose biography he afterwards wrote. In 1780 
he was appointed aide-de-camp to Washington, which place he retained un- 
til the close of hostilities. At the siege of Yorktown he was particularly dis- 
tinguished, and for his gallantry was voted an elegant sword by Congress. 
Following the conclusion of hostilities, he accompanied Washington to 
Mount Vernon, remaining there for nearly a year. In 1784, through Wash- 
ington's influence, he was appointed secretary of legation to Benjamin 
Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, who were sent abroad to ne- 
gotiate treaties of commerce and amity with European Powers. At Wash- 
ington's invitation, he again took up his residence at Mount Vernon in 1790. 
In that year he was appointed the first United States Minister to Portugal. 
After seven years of residence at Lisbon, he was appointed Minister to 
Spain and resided at Madrid until he was succeeded by Charles C. Pinck- 
ney in 1802. He won distinction as poet and man of letters, receiving the 


Plans and Preliminaries 

could write (Philadelphia, March 16, 1791): "Peace and 
tranquility pervade the territory of the United States, ex- 
cept on the northwest side of the Ohio. . . . Our public 
credit is restored, our resources are increasing, and the gen- 
eral appearance of things at least equals the most sanguine 
expectation, that was formed of the effects of the present 
government." Washington mentions that he is setting off 
"to-morrow or next day on a tour through the Southern 
States," and that he is under the necessity of commencing 
his journey with very bad roads, in order to "take such ad- 
vantage of the season as to leave the southern extremity 
before the travelling shall be rendered disagreeable and 
perhaps dangerous by the heat." Washington's satisfac- 
tion with the general condition throughout the country is 
voiced in similar strain in a letter to Lafayette (March 19, 
1 791) : "Our country, my dear Sir (and it is truly yours) is 
fast advancing in its political importance and social happi- 
ness. . . . The laws of the United States, adapted to the 
public exigencies, are framed with wisdom and modera- 
tion, and acquiesced in with cheerfulness. The adminis- 
tration of them, aided by the affectionate partiality of my 
countrymen, is attended with no unnecessary inconven- 
ience, and every circumstance is auspicious to the felicity 
of your fellow citizens in this section of the globe." 

LL.D. degree from Brown (1802) and Dartmouth (1804), and being elected 
a fellow of the Royal Society of London. He died at New Haven, Connecti- 
cut, February 21, 181 8. 



Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

IN devising plans for the Southern tour, Washington — 
the most methodical and provident of men — antici- 
pated every need for making such a journey. The three 
important questions to be decided were those of a secre- 
tary, a route, and a coach and retinue. A subsidiary ques- 
tion, on which Washington's mind was already made up, 
was that of entertainment — which he either accepted 
at the expense of the municipality or paid for himself. In 
a few cases — due to personal association or exigencies of 
the road — he accepted private hospitality; but these were 
specific exceptions which he made to his general rule. 

When Washington as President went to Philadelphia to 
take up his official residence, he appointed two men as his 
secretaries, Tobias Lear, Esq., and Major William Jack- 
son. With a reputation as a soldier and a diplomat, Jack- 
son had earlier so won the approbation of Washington 
as to be selected Secretary of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion. 1 Jackson here played an important role, making 
daily notes of the secret sessions; and these notes, which 
Jackson promised Washington should not be published 
during the latter's lifetime, have never yet, it appears, seen 
the light of day. Jackson accompanied Washington on his 

1 Relying on the endorsement of such men as Laurens and Lincoln, 
Washington pronounced in favor of Jackson, although Franklin is said to 
have made strong pleas for the selection of his grandson, who was not so 
well fitted by ability and training for the post. 

Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

tour of the Eastern States ; and proved so efficient in that 
capacity that Washington found him indispensable for 
the Southern tour. Jackson was a facile speaker and gifted 
writer; and his oration before the Society of the Cincinnati 
(July 4, 1786) and his eulogy on the character of Wash- 
ington (February 22, 1800) have been highly praised. All 
of the replies to the numerous addresses made to Wash- 
ington on his Southern tour were drafted by Jackson 
and merely signed by Washington. These compositions 
are not of sufficient literary merit to invite discussion 
regarding their authorship; but doubtless Washington 
ordinarily blocked out the essential features of his reply 
in talk with Jackson, and afterwards carefully revised the 
draft submitted to him. When Washington received an 
address, it was his custom — as he was wholly lacking in 
the readiness and volubility of the orator — to transmit 
to the body presenting the address a formal written reply 
at a later time. Although printed simultaneously, it was 
seldom that address and reply were delivered in immediate 
succession. This happened when a definite hour was set 
for the public address, and Major Jackson was supplied in 
advance with a copy of the address to be delivered. Major 
Jackson was an ideal secretary — and spared Washington 
all possible drudgery and detail. Washington could never 
quite escape the cares of office, however — for official let- 
ters pursued him and lay in wait for him at different 
stages of his journey. 1 

1 William Jackson was born in Cumberland, England, March 9, 1759 — 
his mother being of Scotch descent. Removing to Charleston before he 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

The various routes for the journey were studied — and 
both tables of distances and maps of the highways passed 
beneath Washington's eye before his departure. He care- 
fully considered the relative merits of the two routes from 
Petersburg, Virginia, to New Berne, North Carolina, one 
by Halifax, the other by Edenton. "A wide ferry, and its 
being a little further," we read in a Charleston newspaper, 
"deterred him from going by Edenton, as his time is 
precious." Before his departure, Washington carefully 
drew up in his own handwriting an exact itinerary giving 
dates and distances, of date March 10, 1791, and labelled 
"Route & Stages of G. Washington in the yr. 1791 which 
he performed at the time." l So precise was Washington in 

was seventeen, he quickly obtained a commission as Lieutenant in the 
First South Carolina Infantry, of which his guardian, Owen Roberts, was 
Major. During the Revolution he served with ability, was commissioned 
Captain with rank of Major in October, 1779, and was captured at the sur- 
render of Charleston in May, 1880. Soon exchanged, he became secretary 
to Colonel Laurens, whom he accompanied to France, whither Laurens 
went as special envoy in 1781. As the result of his successful diplomatic 
negotiations with Franklin, which smoothed the way for the successful 
expedition of the French fleets and army to the United States, he won the 
commendation and good-will of John Adams. After a few years he settled 
down to the practice of law in Philadelphia, where he was admitted to 
practice in 1788. In 1795 he was married to Elizabeth Willing, second 
daughter of Thomas Willing, President of the Bank of North America, one 
of Philadelphia's greatest merchants of the period. From 1796 to 1802 he 
was Surveyor of the Port of Philadelphia; and after his removal, on political 
grounds, by Jefferson, he edited the Federalist organ, The Political and 
Commercial Register. Dying December 17, 1828, he was buried in the 
burial ground of Christ Church, Philadelphia, near the grave of Franklin. 
1 This large sheet is headed: "If the President of the United States 
should be able to commence his tour through the Southern States on the 
10th of March it will be regulated as follows." Other routes memoranda, 
mainly in Washington's handwriting and found in volume 249 of the 
Washington Papers, Library of Congress, are as follows: Table of distances 
endorsed "Road from Phila. to Charleston" (the date is 1781, but this is 
a palpable mistake for 1791); Table headed "Distances giving miles by 






Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

his arrangements that he actually supplied his Cabinet 
officers in advance of the tour with a complete itinerary 
and time schedule. 

Long in advance of the trip Washington had his "Char- 
riot," l as he called it, thoroughly overhauled by the firm of 

stage between Petersburg & New Berne by 2 routes"; Map showing the 
above routes (large double folio page), partly in ink, partly in pencil — one 
route by Halifax, the other by Edenton; Route from Richmond to Eden- 
ton; Memorandum " for Maj. Jackson concerning the Road through N. & S. 
Carolina," three and a half pages in length; Route from Petersburg to 
Charleston via Edenton and via Halifax; Route from Savannah to Augusta. 
1 Lossing's sketch of Washington's coach, in his book on Mount Vernon, 
is incorrect in several particulars — although it is a true replica of the coach 
in shape. He shows the crest on the doors, not enclosed in ovals; the four 
seasons on the quarter panels, and Venetian blinds in the front of the coach 
with apparently no glass. The coach was a duplicate in shape of the Powel 
coach displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876; and 
was, it is supposed, ordered from England at the same time as the Powel 
coach. The bill submitted Washington by Messrs. Clark, printed below, 
is very informing. It should be read in connection with certain letters 
in the Washington Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington to 
Lear, September 5, 1790; Daniel and Francis Clark to Washington, Sep- 
tember 13, 1790; Washington to Daniel and Francis Clark, September 17, 
1790; Tobias Lear to Washington, October 24, 1790. Compare also Custis: 
Recollections, p. 424; Scharf and Westcott: History of Philadelphia, p. 473; 
and The Washington Coachee and Powel Coach, by Mrs. Mary Stevens 
Beall for Robert L. Brownfield (Washington, 1908). Follows the bill, in the 
Washington Correspondence, of Daniel and Francis Clark: 

Taking out the Creansand Reasing higher & a pair of new Shafts £7. 10.0 

A new iron Coach box Sett 3. 15.0 

A new Ruff Leather & new Conish 4.12.6 

linning the Boady with u>£ yards of Superfine Cloath at 

37-6 pr yard 21 . 11 .3 

Leaces Glass string &c' a 8. 14.0 38. 5 .3 

making and putting in Do 8. 10.0 

A new fulle trimed hamer Cloath 12.00 

repairs wanted to the boady & 2 pair of new hinges 2.0.0 

A pair of new double inside foulding Steps 5 . 10.0 

4 new bands to the hoobs of the wheels o. 10.0 

Painting the Boady and high Varnishing 5. 10.0 

Boarder rond all the pannels from £8. to £115 

Ornaments & Coats of Arms 4. 10.0 

Guilding the frame work Solid 6.00.0 

Painting Carraige and wheels 2.10.0 


Washington's Southern Tour 

carriage-makers, Daniel and Francis Clark, of Philadel- 
phia. This was his "old coach," which means, I take it, 
that it was not his newest one. In color the chariot was 
white ; there were beautiful designs of the four seasons by 
Cypriani painted on the doors and front and back; the 
Washington coat of arms within ovals was painted on the 
four quarter panels; there were four Venetian blinds on 
the side in the shape of quarter-ellipses, and four (two 
each) on front and back of rectangular shape ; and there 
were glass windows in the front of the coach; the whole 
framework and the springs were gilded ; there were plated 
door handles, plated brass buckles, plated mouldings 
round the roof, and a pair of double inside folding steps. 
"In this tour," says Washington in his diary, "I was ac- 
companied by Major Jackson, my equipage & attendance 
consisted of a Charriot & four horses drove in hand — 
a light baggage waggon and two horses — four saddle 
horses beside a led one for myself and five — to wit — 
my Valet de Chambre, two footmen, Coachman & pos- 
tilion." The outriders in their bright livery of red and 
white gave a touch of gallantry and distinction to the 
equipage and cavalcade. Writing to Lafayette on March 
19th, Washington says: "The tender concern, which you 

Picking in Do 1.10.0 

8 Vinison blinds 11. 10. o 

Gilding the Springs 1. 5.0 

A sett of Silke festoon Curtains with fringes and tosals to all the insid of 

the Ruff 8. 0.0 

In the Gazette 0/ the United States (Philadelphia, March 23, 1791) the 
coach is described as a "new charriot," "built by Mr. Clark of this city, 
and may be pronounced a superior specimen of mechanical perfection in 
that time." It appears that it was neither "new" nor "built" by Mr. Clark. 


Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

express on my last illness, awakens emotions, which words 
will not explain, and to which your own sensibility can 
best do justice. My health is now quite restored, and I 
flatter myself with the hope of a long exemption from sick- 
ness. On Monday next I shall enter on the practice of your 
friendly prescription of exercise, intending at that time to 
begin a journey to the southward, during which I propose 
visiting all the Southern States." 

On Monday morning, March 21st, a small crowd gath- 
ered in front of 190 High Street, the large double house 
occupied by the Washington family, to witness the de- 
parture of the President on his Southern tour. On the 
boot of the white chariot was John Fagan, the Hessian 
coachman; 1 and attending the President were the Honor- 
able Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, General 
Henry Knox, Secretary of War, and the President's Sec- 
retary, Major Jackson. At eleven o'clock, in the language 
of a contemporary, " the coachman gave a rustling flourish 
with his lash, which produced a plunging motion in the 
leading horses, reined in by the postilions, and striking 

1 Fagan drove for the President throughout his whole tour of the South- 
ern States. "On the president's return," says G. W. P. Custis, "Clarke was 
in attendance to learn the success of [the coach in withstanding the hard- 
ships of the journey]. No sooner had the horses stopped at the door of the 
presidential mansion than the anxious coach maker was under the body of 
the white chariot, examining everything with a careful and critical eye, till 
Fagan shouted from the box, 'All right, Mr. Clarke, all right, sir, not a bolt 
or screw started in a long journey and over the devil's own roads."' So 
delighted was the coach-maker that he held a jollification at his shop over 
the splendid showing of the coach which he had so excellently repaired. If 
the story is true, it is highly probable that Fagan was "spoofing" Mr. 
Clark about the bolts and screws. Compare G. W. P. Custis, Recollections 
and Private Memoirs of Washington (New York, i860), pp. 424-25. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

flakes of fire between their heels and the pebbles beneath 

— when 

Crack went the whip, round went the wheels, 
As though the High Street were mad." 

Washington was accompanied as far as Delaware by 
Mr. Jefferson and General Knox. The events of the next 
few days — in particular a certain dangerous and alarming 
experience — are fully described by Washington in his 
diary as follows: 


Left Philadelphia about n o'clock to make a tour through 
the Southern States. — Reached Chester about 3 o'clock — 
dined & lodged at Mr. Wythes — Roads exceedingly deep, 
heavy & cut in places by the Carriages which used them. 

In this tour I was accompanied by Majr. Jackson . . . 

Tuesday, iind. 

At half past 6 o'clock we left Chester, & breakfasted at 
Wilmington. — Finding the Roads very heavy — and receiv- 
ing unfavourable Accts. of those between this place and Balti- 
more, I determined to cross the Bay by the way of Rockhall 

— and crossing Christiana Creek proceeded through New- 
castle & by the Red Lyon to the Buck tavern 13 miles from 
Newcastle and 19 from Wilmington where we dined and 
lodged. — At the Red Lyon we gave the horses a bite of Hay 

— during their eating of which I discovered that one of those 
wch. drew the Baggage waggon was lame and apprd. other- 
wise much indisposed — had him bled and afterwards led to 
the Buck-tavern. 

This is a better house than the appearances indicate. 

Wednesday, 23d. 

Set off at 6 o'clock — breakfasted at Warwick — bated 
with hay 9 miles farther — and dined and lodged at the 
House of one Worrell's in Chester; from whence — I sent 


Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

an Express to Rock Hall to have Boats ready for me by 9 
o'clock to-morrow morning — after doing which Captn. Nich- 
olson obligingly set out for that place to see that every thing 
should [be] prepared agai D st my arrival. 

The lame horse was brought on, and while on the Road 
apprd. to move tolerably well, but as soon as he stopped, 
discovered a stiffness in all his limbs, which indicated some 
painful disorder — I fear a Chest founder — My riding horse 
also appeard to be very unwell, his appetite had entirely 
failed him. 

The Winter grain along the Road appeared promising and 

Thursday , 24th. 

Left Chestertown about 6 o'clock — before nine I arrived 
at Rock-Hall where we breakfasted and immediately: after 
which we began to embark — The doing of which employed 
us (for want of contrivance) until near 3 o'clock — and then 
one of my Servants (Paris) & two horses were left, notwith- 
standing two Boats in aid of the two Ferry Boats were pro- 
cured. — Unluckily, embarking on board of a borrowed Boat 
because she was the largest, I was in imminent danger, from 
the unskillfulness of the hands, and the dulness of her sail- 
ing, added to the darkness and storminess of the night — for 
two hours after we hoisted sail the wind was light and ahead 

— the next hour was a stark calm — after which the wind 
sprung up at So. Et. and increased until it blew a gale — 
about which time, and after 8 o'clock p.m. we made the 
Mouth of Severn River (leading up to Annapolis) but the ig- 
norance of the People on board, with respect to the naviga- 
tion of it run us a ground first on Greenbury point from 
whence with much exertion and difficulty we got off; & 
then, having no knowledge of the Channel and the night be- 
ing immensely dark with heavy and variable squals of wind 

— constant lightning & tremendous thunder — we soon 
got aground again on what is called Home's point — where 
finding all efforts in vain, & not knowing where we were 
we remained, not knowing what might happen, till morn- 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Friday, l^th. 

Having lain all night in my Great Coat & Boots, in a birth 
not long enough for me by the head, & much cramped; we 
found ourselves in the morning within about one mile of 
Annapolis, & still fast aground. — Whilst we were preparing 
our small Boat in order to land in it, a sailing Boat came of 
to our assistance in wch. with the Baggage I had on Board I 
landed, & requested Mr. Man at whose Inn I intended lodg- 
ing, to send off a Boat to take off two of my Horses & Char- 
iot which I had left on board and with it my Coachman to 
see that it was properly done — but by mistake the latter 
not having notice of this order & attempting to get on board 
afterwards in a small sailing Boat was overset and narrowly 
escaped drowning. 

Was informed upon my arrival (when 15 Guns were fired) 
that all my other horses arrived safe that embarked at the 
same time I did, about 8 o'clock last night. 

In the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser 
(April 5, 1791) appeared an account of the delayed em- 
barcation at Rock-Hall quite characteristic of the senti- 
mental style of the day, referring to Washington amus- 
ingly enough — though doubtless all readers accepted it 
with unbroken solemnity — as the "chief treasure of 
America." Says this account: "The vessel, which con- 
tained the chief treasure of America did not enter the river 
Severn until ten o'clock in a dark tempestuous night. She 
struck on a bar, or point, within about a mile of the city; 
and although she made a signal of distress, it was impos- 
sible, before daylight, to go to her relief. The guardian- 
angel of America was still watchful ; and we are happy in 
assuring our countrymen that the health of their dearest 

friend has not been at all affected by an accident far more 


Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

distressing, to those who were apprized or rather appre- 
hensive of his situation than to himself." 

As soon as the Governor, John Eager Howard, 1 heard on 
Thursday evening that Washington was on his way to 
Annapolis from Rock-Hall, he in company with several 
gentlemen set sail in a boat to meet the President — " but 
turned back when it grew dark and squally." On Friday 
morning he called upon Washington at Mann's Tavern, 
and extended to him two invitations: to attend a public 
dinner that day to be given at Mann's Tavern by the 
citizens of Annapolis, and to dine with him the next day, 
both of which the President accepted. After breakfast, 
attended by the Governor and a "number of respectable 
citizens," he went for a walk about the city. Crowded 
with fateful recollections — though the " historic sense " 
seems strangely in abeyance in Washington if we judge 
by the diary alone — must have been his visit to the State 
House "which seems to be much out of repairs." Here in 
December, 1783, the Continental Congress assembled to 
receive his resignation as Commander-in-Chief; and here 

1 John Eager Howard, son of Cornelius and Ruth (Eager) Howard, was 
born on his father's estate, on the Reisterstown Road, Baltimore County, 
Maryland, near the site of present Garrison Forest Church, on property 
now owned by Howard Sills, Esq., June 4, 1752, and educated by private 
tutors. He served throughout the Revolutionary War; was in the battle 
of White Plains, October 28, 1776, and at the battle of Germantown, Oct- 
ober 4, 1777. In June, 1779, he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel. He 
was present at the battle of Camden, and was the hero of the battle of 
Cowpens, turning defeat into victory for the Americans. 

Howard was a member of the Continental Congress in 1787 and 1788, 
and Governor of Maryland 1788-91. He served in the United States Sen- 
ate, 1796-1803. In 1795 he was offered the portfolio of war by Washington, 
but declined it. He was a prominent Federalist. He died at Belvedere, Oc- 
tober 12, 1827. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

he stood as the memorable reply of Congress, written by 
Jefferson, was pronounced, concluding with these words: 
"Having defended the standard of liberty in this new 
world ; having taught a lesson to those who inflict, and to 
those who feel oppression, you retire from the great theatre 
of action with the blessings of your fellow-citizens ; but the 
glory of your virtues will not terminate with your military 
command, it will continue to animate remotest ages." 

At ten o'clock the party reached the College of St. John, 
at which, records Washington, "there are about 80 stu- 
dents of every description." One immortal in patriotic 
verse, Francis Scott Key, entering November 11, 1789, 
was graduated here in 1796. This college has a history 
connected with the earliest efforts to establish a college in 
Maryland (1671) and had its foundation in King William's 
School, provided for in a legislative act of 1696. The char- 
ter of St. John's College, however, was not actually granted 
until nearly a century later (1784). The college was for- 
mally opened, with solemn ceremonies, on November 11, 
1789. 1 Washington had close affiliations with the college — 
among the students during the early period of St. John's 
College being George Washington Parke Custis, a stepson, 
and Fairfax and Lawrence Washington, nephews of the 
President. During his visit at this time Washington "ex- 

1 The brick school-house of King William's School was completed in 
1 701. The man chiefly instrumental in obtaining the passage of the act 
resulting in the establishment of this school was the Reverend Doctor 
Thomas Bray, who had been appointed Commissioner of Maryland by the 
Bishop of London, and who is credited with being the originator of the Soci- 
ety for the Propagation of the Gospel. Consult Philip R. Voorhees: St. 
John's College. 





MIKITY or :i ! ml $ 

Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

pressed much satisfaction at the appearance of this rising 
seminary." On the day following Washington's visit, 
the faculty of the college drew up an address to the Presi- 
dent which is here given in full : 

To the President of the United States. 


We, the Faculty of St. John's College beg leave to express 
the sincere joy which the honour of your presence in our infant 
seminary afforded us. In common with all those who super- 
intend the education of youth, we must feel a lively gratitude 
to the defender of liberty, the guardian of his country, and 
consequently the great patron of literature. But as this 
seminary was begun since the united voice of free America 
called you to preside over its most important interest, and 
ensured to them the continuance of those blessings which 
your calm foresight and steady fortitude had been the happy 
means of procuring, it seems in a peculiar manner to lookup 
to you with filial respect. That it dates its birth from this 
grand aera, which has placed you at the head of fifteen dis- 
tinct sovereign states united into one mighty republic, is 
regarded by its friends as an auspicious circumstance and 
flattering assurance of its future eminence and usefulness. 
To the friend of virtue and his country, the rise of colleges 
where the youth of generations yet unborn, may be taught 
to admire and emulate the great and good, must give a heart- 
felt delight, as they promise perpetuity to the labours and 
renown of the patriot and hero. 

Our earnest prayers, that a kind Providence may con- 
stantly watch over you, and preserve a life, long indeed, 
already, if measured by deeds of worth and fulness of honours 
but too short as yet for your country. 

Signed in behalf, and at the request of the Faculty, 

John M. Dowell, Pr. 

March 16, 1791. 

To which the President made the following reply: 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

To the Faculty of St. John's College. 


The satisfaction which I have derived from my visit to 
your infant seminary, is expressed with real pleasure, and 
my wishes for its progress to perfection are preferred with 
sincere regard. 

The very promising appearance of its infancy must flatter 
all its friends (among them I intreat you to class me) with 
the hope of an early, and at the same time, a mature man- 

You will do justice to the sentiments, which your kind 
regard towards myself inspires, by believing that I recip- 
rocate the good wishes contained in your address, and I sin- 
cerely hope the excellence of your seminary will be manifested 
in the morals and science of the youth who are favoured with 
your care. 

G. Washington 

After accompanying Mrs. Howard (whom Washington 
calls Mrs. "Howell") to the Governor's home, the Presi- 
dent dined at Mann's Tavern with " a numerous company 
of inhabitants." The following toasts were proposed at the 
conclusion of the dinner each of which was announced by 
the discharge of cannon: 

i. The People of the United States of America. 
1. The Congress. 

3. The dearest Friend of his Country. 

4. The State of Maryland. 

5. Wisdom, Justice and Harmony, in all our Public Coun- 

6. Agriculture, Manufactures, Commerce, and Learning, 
may they all flourish with virtue and true Religion. 

7. The king of the French. 

8. The National Assembly of France. 

9. The Sieur la Fayette, and generous Friends to America 
in the Day of her Distress. 


Philadelphia to Mowit Vernon 

io. The memory of all those who have fallen in the Cause 
of America. 

11. The Patriots of all Nations and Ages. 

12. The powers of Europe friendly to America. 

13. May all inhabitants of the Earth be taught to consider 
each other as Fellow-Citizens. 

14. The virtuous Daughters of America. 

15. The perpetual Union of distinct Sovereign States under 
an efficient Federal Head. 

Symptomatic of an unsophisticated society was the next 
to the last toast with its superfluous adjective; while the 
last is significant of the slowly maturing faith in the Union. 

Saturday, 26th, was a day full of happenings — although 
there is nothing of note to record. In the forenoon, the 
President remained in his room — preparing papers and 
documents in anticipation of the coming meeting at 
George Town on the following Monday, concerning laying 
out the district for the federal seat. The President dined 
at Governor Howard's with a large company; and in the 
evening until half past ten o'clock he attended a ball, "at 
which was exhibited everything, which this little city con- 
tains of beauty and elegance." The pleasure of the entire 
community in the visit of the President manifested itself 
through the columns of a Baltimore newspaper in which 
we read: "It is no exaggeration to declare that, during 
two days, all care seemed suspended ; and the inhabitants 
of a whole town were made happy in contemplating him 
whom they consider as their safest friend, as well as the 
most exalted of their fellow-citizens and the first of men." 
At nine o'clock on Sunday morning the President left the 

city "under a discharge of Artillery," being accompanied 


Washington"* s Southern Tour 

by "many of the Gentlemen of Annapolis (among whom 
was the Chancellor of the State) " as far as the ferry over 
South River. On his journey to Georgetown he was ac- 
companied by the Governor, a Mr. Kilty of the Council, 
and Mr. Charles Stuart. Records the President: "Bated 
at Queen Ann, 13 miles distant and lodged at Bladens- 

The location of the federal district was a matter of na- 
tional interest. The negotiations which had to be carried 
on and the numerous difficulties which had to be encoun- 
tered were tests of Washington's patience, wisdom, and 
diplomacy which he amply met. The decision as to the 
location of the federal district was made on January 24, 
1 79 1, on which date the President sent a message to Con- 
gress regarding the matter, suggesting amendatory legisla- 
tion for extending the limits of the federal district. The 
suggestions of Washington were incorporated by Congress 
on March 3d in an amendatory law; and the commissioners 
appointed by Washington were Thomas Johnson 1 and 

1 Thomas Johnson, son of Thomas and Dorcas (Sedgewick) Johnson, 
Maryland's first State Governor, was born at St. Leonard's on November 
4, 1732. He studied law in Annapolis; was a leader in the pre-Revolution- 
ary agitation in Maryland; became a prominent member of the first Con- 
tinental Congress, being reelected in 1776. On October 2, 1774, when a res- 
olution was passed by Congress that an address to the Crown should be 
prepared, Mr. Johnson was selected, with R. H. Lee, John Adams, and 
Patrick Henry, to write it; he was a member of the provincial committee of 
correspondents, and a member of the Council of Safety. It was he who on 
June 15, 1775, nominated George Washington for Commander-in-Chief of 
the Continental forces. He was Governor of Maryland 1777-79. He was 
returned to the Provincial Congress in 1780 and became a member of the 
House of Delegates in the same year. From 1781 to 1787 he sat in the Con- 
tinental Congress, became a supporter of the Constitution, and was a mem- 
ber of the Maryland Convention which ratified that instrument in 1789. 










BttlVEMITY 0P U ! m$ 

Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

Daniel Carroll, 1 of Maryland, and David Stuart, 2 of Vir- 

Certain of the property-holders within the district inter- 
posed many obstacles, notably the man who has gone down 
in the annals of the city as "the obstinate Mr. Burns." 
More than a month prior to the time the commissioners 
first took up their work, the President appointed Andrew 
Ellicott 3 to survey the bounds of the district and Pierre 

On April 20, 1790, he was appointed Chief Judge of the General Court of 
Maryland, surrendering the office November 7, 1791, that he might assume 
the duties of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. 

When Edmund Randolph resigned the portfolio of State in 1795, Presi- 
dent Washington wrote to Mr. Johnson as follows: "The office of Secretary 
of State is vacant, occasioned by the resignation of Mr. Randolph. Will 
you accept it? You know my wishes of old to bring you into the adminis- 
tration. Where, then, is the necessity of repeating them? . . . No time 
more than the present ever required the aid of your abilities." Mr. 
Johnson's letter declining the office reveals the extreme modesty which 
worked such havoc with his fame. 

Mr. Johnson was a member of the commission which laid out the city of 
Washington. He died at Rose Hill, Frederick, October 26, 1819. 

1 Daniel Carroll was born in Prince George's County, Maryland, in 
1756. He received a classical education and lived on his estate, afterwards 
part of the City of Washington, D.C. From 1780 to 1784 he was delegate 
from Maryland to the Continental Congress. He was also a delegate to the 
Convention that framed the Federal Constitution. In 1788 he was elected 
Representative from Maryland to the first United States Congress, serving 
from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791. He was active in securing the 
establishment of a seat of government, and in 1791 was appointed by Presi- 
dent Washington a commissioner to locate the District of Columbia and the 
capital city. He died at " Duddington," his home near Washington, in 1 829. 

2 David Stuart, son of the Reverend William Stuart, was born in King 
George County, Virginia, August 3, 1753, educated at William and Mary 
College, and studied medicine at Edinburgh and Paris. He served in the 
Virginia Legislature. He later removed to Alexandria, where he practiced 
his profession of medicine with great success. He was a Federalist and a 
strong friend of Washington. He married Eleanor Calvert Custis, the 
widow of John Parke Custis, son of Martha Washington by her first mar- 
riage. He was father of Charles Calvert Stuart, of Chantilly, Fairfax 
County, Virginia. 

3 Andrew Ellicott, an American civil engineer, was born in Bucks 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

Charles L'Enfant 1 to prepare a plan of the city. By the 
middle of March both were well under way in their work 
— Ellicott to make a survey and map, L'Enfant to make 
"drawings of the particular grounds most likely to be 
offered for the site of the federal town and buildings." 
Writing to his agents for negotiating with the somewhat 
recalcitrant property-holders, Washington shrewdly sug- 
gests that the spectacle of L'Enfant making a survey 
solely of the lands on the Eastern Branch might cause the 
property-holders to prove more amenable. This was the 
situation just prior to Washington's arrival at George 
Town. The President's diary for the next three days is full 
and instructive: 
Monday, i%th. 

Left Bladensburgh at half after six, & breakfasted at 
George Town about 8; where, having appointed the Corn- 
County, Pennsylvania, in 1754. In 1789 he was appointed by Washington 
to survey the lands in western Pennsylvania and New York, near Lake 
Erie, and in the same year made the first accurate measurements of 
Niagara Falls and River. In 1790 he was engaged in surveying and laying 
out the new city of Washington, and in 1792 was appointed Surveyor-Gen- 
eral of the United States. From 1 801 to 1 808 he was secretary of the Penn- 
sylvania State Land Office, and from 1812 until his death held the chair of 
mathematics at West Point Military Academy. He published a Journal 'in 
1803. He died at West Point, New York, August 28, 1820. 

1 Pierre Charles L'Enfant, born in 1755, a French officer who came to 
America with Lafayette in 1777 and joined the American Army. His skill 
as a designer of fortifications attracted the attention of Washington, who 
made him chief of engineers with brevet of major of engineers. In 1791 he 
planned the city of Washington under the direction of George Washington 
and with aid in the way of plans of foreign cities from Thomas Jefferson. 
The commissioners in general charge of the work advertised a sale of lots for 
October, 1791, and requested L'Enfant to furnish his plan to be engraved 
and published. This he refused to do, and for this insubordination Wash- 
ington ordered his dismissal March 1, 1792. The execution of his plan for 
Washington was continued by his assistant, Andrew Ellicott. L'Enfant 
died in Prince George's County, Maryland, June 4, 1825. 


Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

missioners under the Residence Law to meet me, I found Mr. 
Johnson one of them (& who is Chief Justice of the State) in 
waiting — & soon after came in David Stuart, & Danl. Car- 
roll Esqrs. the other two. — A few miles out of Town I was 
met by the principal Citizens of the place and escorted in by 
them; and dined at Suter's tavern (where I also lodged) at a 
public dinner given by the Mayor & Corporation — previous 
to which I examined the Surveys of Mr. Ellicot who had been 
sent on to lay out the district of ten miles square for the 
federal seat; and also the works of Majr. L'Enfant who had 
been engaged to examine & make a draught of the grds. in 
the vicinity of George Town and Carrollsburg on the East- 
ern branch making arrangements for examining the ground 
myself tomorrow with the Commissioners. 

Tuesday, igth. 

In a thick mist, and under strong appearance of a settled 
rain (which however did not happen) I set out about 7 
o'clock, for the purpose above mentioned — but from the 
unfavorableness of the day, I derived no great satisfaction 
from the review. 

Finding the interests of the Landholders about George 
town and those about Carrollsburgh much at varience and 
that their fears and jealousies of each were counteracting the 
public purposes & might prove injurious to its best interests 
whilst if properly managed they might be made to subserve 
it — I requested them to meet me at six o'clock this after- 
noon at my lodgings, which they accordingly did. 

To this meeting I represented that the contention in which 
they seemed engaged, did not in my opinion comport either 
with the public interest or that of their own; — that while 
each party was aiming to obtain the public buildings, they 
might by placing the matter on a contracted scale, defeat the 
measure altogether; not only by procrastination but for want 
of the means necessary to effect the work; — That niether 
the offer from George-town or Carrollsburgh, seperately, was 
adequate to the end of insuring the object. — That both to- 
gether did not comprehend more ground nor would afford 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

greater means than was required for the federal City; — and 
that, instead of contending which of the two should have it 
they had better, by combining more offers make a common 
cause of it, and thereby secure it to the district — other argu- 
ments were used to show the danger which might result from 
delay and the good effects that might proceed from a Union. 
Dined at Col 0, Forrest's today with the Commissioners & 

Wednesday, 30M. 

The parties to whom I addressed myself yesterday evening, 
having taken the matter into consideration saw the propriety 
of my observations; and that whilst they were contending for 
the shadow they might loose the substance; and therefore 
mutually agreed and entered into articles to surrender for 
public purposes, one half of the land they severally possessed 
within bounds which were designated as necessary for the 
City to stand with some other stipulations, which were in- 
serted in the instrument which they respectively subscribed. 

This business being thus happily finished & some direc- 
tions given to the Commissioners, the Surveyor and Engineer 
with respect to the mode of laying out the district — Survey- 
ing the grounds for the City & forming them into lots — I left 
Georgetown — dined in Alexandria & reached Mount Vernon 
in the evening. 1 

1 On the day of the President's arrival at Mount Vernon was published 
the following proclamation: 

By the President of the United States of America. 

A Proclamation 

Whereas, by a proclamation bearing date the 24th day of January of this 
present year, and in pursuance of certain acts of the States of Maryland 
and Virginia, and of the Congress of the United States therein mentioned, 
certain lines of experiment were directed to be run in the neighborhood of 
George Town, in Maryland, for the purpose of determining the location 
of a part of the territory of ten miles square for the permanent seat of the 
government of the United States and a certain part was directed to be 
located within the said lines of experiment, on both sides of the Potomac, 
and above the limit of the Eastern Branch prescribed by the said act of 












































on*!- , 

V" 11 ' 


Philadelphia to Mount Vernon 

On March 24, 1791, Colonel Henry Lee, 1 the famous 

And Congress by an amendatory act, passed on the 3d day of this present 
month of March, have given further authority to the President of the 
United States "to make any part of the territory below the said limit, and 
above the mouth of Hunting Creek, a part of the said district so as to 
include a convenient part of the Eastern Branch, and of the lands lying on 
the lower side thereof and also the town of Alexandria." 

Now therefore, for the purpose of amending and completing the location 
of the whole of the said territory of ten miles square, in conformity with 
the amendatory act of Congress, I do hereby declare and make known that 
the whole of the said territory shall be located and included within the 
four line following that is to say, 

Beginning at Jones Point, being the Cape of Hunting Creek in Virginia, 
and at an angle in the outset, of forty-five degrees west of the north and 
running in a direction ten miles for the first line; then beginning again 
at the same Jones-Point and running another direct line, at a right 
angle with the first, across the Potomac, ten miles for the second line; 
then, from the terminations of the said first and second lines, running two 
other direct lines, of ten miles each, the one crossing the Eastern Branch 
aforesaid and the other the Potomac and meeting each other in a point. 

And I do accordingly direct the Commissioners, named under the 
authority of the said first-mentioned act of Congress, to proceed forthwith 
to have the said four lines run, and by the proper metes and bounds defined 
and limited, and thereof to make due report under their hands and seals; 
and the territory to be located, defined and limited, shall be the whole 
territory accepted by the said acts of Congress as the district for the per- 
manent seat of the Government of the United States. 

In Testimony whereof I have caused the Seal of the United States to 
be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my hand. Done 
at George town aforesaid, the 30th day of March in the year of our 
Lord 1 791, and of the Independence of the United States the fifteenth. 

George Washington. 
By the President 

Thomas Jefferson. 

1 Henry Lee, born in Leesylvania, Prince William County, Virginia, 
January 29, 1756. Pursued classical studies and was graduated from 
Princeton in 1774. On motion of Patrick Henry, he was commissioned 
captain of a company of Virginia dragoons, June 18, 1776. Joined Wash- 
ington's army in Pennsylvania, September, 1777. By a special act of Con- 
gress, April 7, 1778, in recognition of his brave and distinguished services, 
was promoted to a major commandant and authorized to augment his 
corps by the enlistment of two troops of horse; received a gold medal and 
the thanks of Congress "for remarkable prudence, address, and bravery" 
in the affair at Paulus Hook. By act of October 21, 1780, his battalion 
was designated "Lee's partisan corps"; which came to be known as "Lee's 


Washington's Southern Tour 

" Light Horse Harry " of the Revolution and son of Wash- 
ington's first love — the "Lowland Beauty,"of whom he was 
enamoured when only sixteen years of age — wrote Wash- 
ington the following affectionate letter from Alexandria : 

My dear General 

Permit me to tell you that I have waited to the last mo- 
ment in my power in the fond hope of seeing you. 

My necessitys force me away this day, or the satisfaction I 
covet, should not be lost. Deprived of what is so grateful to 
my feelings, I must use this mode of manifesting my happi- 
ness on your second return to our native state, on the con- 
firmed health you enjoy, and on the lasting affection of your 
fellow citizens. 

Let me hope you will not forget the pestilential effects of 
the southern sun in the hot season and that the month of 
May will not pass, before you revisit the potomac. I wish 
you an agreable journey & safe return, & beg your accept- 
ance of my most affectionate & respectful regards. 
I have the honor to be 
My dear General 
Your most devoted h: servt. 

Henry Lee 

legion" and its young commander as "Light Horse Harry." He was pro- 
moted to lieutenant-colonel, November 6, 1780; and served until the end 
of the war. On July 19, 1798, was commissioned major-general, United 
States Army ; and was honorably discharged June 15,1 800. Delegate in the 
Continental Congress, 1785-1788; and supported Madison and Marshall in 
the Virginia Convention of 1788, winning distinction for his eloquence. 
Member of the Virginia Legislature, 1789-91; and governor of Virginia, 
1792-95. Commanded the Virginia forces against the whiskey insurgents. 
Elected to the Sixth Congress as a Federalist (March 4, 1799, to March 3, 
1801). At the request of Congress he delivered a eulogy upon Washington 
at the time of his death, in which he uttered the famous characterization: 
"first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." 
Injured in a street riot in Baltimore in 181 2, receiving injuries from which 
he never recovered. By his marriage, during the Revolution, to Matilda, 
daughter of Philip Ludwell Lee, he came into possession of Stratford 
House, where he spent the latter part of his life. Died in Cumberland 
Island, Georgia, March 25, 18 18. 



Virginia: Fredericksburg, Richmond, Petersburg 

WASHINGTON reached home on the 30th of March 
— gladly greeted by family and retainers. The 
welcome relaxation from cares of State had an added 
balm — for when he started forth again, he was not to re- 
turn to the national capital, but to make a triumphal tour 
through the southern portion of the vast domain over 
which he presided. With the shrewd eye of the skilled 
agriculturist, Washington inspected his plantation each 
day, made pertinent inquiries, carefully investigated the 
costs of everything, and gave precise directions regarding 
every detail of management. At this time, he had one 
hundred and fifteen "hands" on the Mount Vernon es- 
tate, besides house servants; and De Warville, describing 
his estate in the same year, speaks of his having three 
hundred negroes. In this congenial task — for Washing- 
ton loved no role quite so well as that of the prosperous 
country gentleman — he spent a full week at Mount 
Vernon. 1 

1 The following description of Mount Vernon at this time appeared in 
the General Advertiser and Political, Commercial and Literary Journal of 
Philadelphia, April 20, 1791: 

"Mount Vernon, the celebrated seat of general Washington, is pleas- 
antly situated on the Virginia bank of the Potowmack, where it is nearly 
two miles wide, and is about 280 miles from the sea. It is 9 miles from 
Alexandria, and 4 above the beautiful seat of the late col. Fairfax, called 
Belleview. The area of the mount is 200 feet above the surface of the river, 
and after furnishing a lawn of five acres in front, and about the same in 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

Perhaps he did not wholly regret, as he states in his 

diary (March 31), that he 

Was obliged also, consequence of Col - Henry Lee's declin- 
ing to accept the command of one of the Regiments of Levies 
and the request of the Secretary at War to appoint those 
officers which had been left to Col° Lee to do for a Battalion 
to be raised in Virginia East of the Alligany Mountains to 
delay my journey on this account — and after all, to commit 
the business as will appear by the letters & for the reasons 
there mentioned to Col°- Darke's management. 1 

rear of the buildings, falls off abruptly on those two quarters. On the north 
end it subsides gradually into extensive pasture grounds; while on the 
south it slopes more steeply, in a shorter distance, and terminates with the 
coach house, stables, vineyards and nurseries. On either wing is a thick 
grove of different flowering forest trees. Parallel with them, on the land 
side, are two spacious gardens, into which one is led by two serpentine 
gravel walks, planted with weeping willows and shady shrubs. The man- 
sion house itself (though much embellished by, yet not perfectly satisfac- 
tory to the chaste taste of the present possessor) appears venerable and con- 
venient. The superb banqueting room has been finished since he returned 
from the army. A lofty portico, 96 feet in length, supported by eight 
pillars, has a pleasing effect when viewed from the water; and the tout en- 
semble (the whole assemblage) of the green house, school house, offices and 
servants halls, when seen from the land side, bears a resemblance to a 
rural village, especially as the lands in that side are laid out somewhat in 
the form of English gardens, in meadows and grass grounds, ornamented 
with little copses, circular clumps and single trees. A small Park on the 
margin of the river, where the English fallow deer, and the American wild 
deer, are seen through the thickets, alternately with the vessels as they are 
sailing along, add a romantic picturesque appearance to the whole scen- 
ery. On the opposite side of a small creek to the northward an extensive 
plain, exhibiting cornfields and cattle grazing, affords in summer a luxuri- 
ant landscape to the eye; while the blended verdure of woodlands and 
cultivated declivities on the Maryland shore, variegates the prospect in a 
charming manner. Such are the philosophic shades to which the late com- 
mander in the American armies retired from the tumultuous scenes of a 
busy world." 

1 Colonel Darke was an active officer in the Ohio country, in the Indian 
wars in that region from 1792 to 1794; and Darke County was named in 
his honor. He was with the Virginians at Braddock's defeat; was in the 
war for independence; was a member of the Virginia Convention in 1788; 
was with St. Clair in his unfortunate campaign in 1791 ; and died in 1801. 
(B. J. L.) Cf. Washington's Letter to Colonel John Darke, written 




Although there were no telegraphs, telephones, or wire- 
less stations in those days, it was just as important as it is 
to-day for the members of the Cabinet to have exact 
knowledge of the movements and the whereabouts of the 
President. The letter marked: "To the Secretaries of the 
Departments of State, Treasury, and War," Mount Ver- 
non, April 4, 1 79 1, displays the customary prudence and 
foresight of this man of glorified common sense : 

As the public service may require, that communications 
should be made to me during my absence from the seat of 
government by the most direct conveyances, and as, in the 
event of any very extraordinary occurrence, it will be neces- 
sary to know at what time I may be found in any particular 
place, I have to inform you that, unless the progress of my 
journey to Savannah is retarded by unforeseen interruptions, 
it will be regulated, including days of halt, in the following 
manner. I shall be on the 8th of April at Fredericksburg, the 
nth at Richmond, the 14th at Petersburg, the 16th at Hali- 
fax, the 1 8 th at Tarborough, the 20th at Newbern, the 24th 
at Wilmington, the 29th at Georgetown, South Carolina; on 
the 2d of May at Charleston, halting there five days; on the 
nth at Savannah, halting there two days. Thence, leaving 
the line of the mail, I shall proceed to Augusta; and, accord- 
ing to the information which I may receive there, my return 
by an upper road will be regulated. 

The route of my return is at present uncertain, but in all 
probability it will be through Columbia, Camden, Charlotte, 
Salisbury, Salem, Guilford, Hillsborough, Harrisburg, Wil- 
liamsburg to Taylor's Ferry on the Roanoke, and thence to 
Fredericksburg by the nearest and best road. 

After thus explaining to you, as far as I am able at present, 
the direction and probable progress of my journey, I have 

from Mount Vernon on April 4th, in which he gives a summary of the 
forces to be employed in the projected expedition against "certain tribes 
of western Indians" under the command of General St. Clair, and requests 
Colonel Darke to superintend the engaging of recruits. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

to express my wish, if any serious and important cares (of 
which the probability is but too strong) should arise dur- 
ing my absence, that the Secretaries of the Departments of 
State, Treasury, and War, may hold consultations thereon, 
to determine whether they are of such a nature as to demand 
my personal attendance at the seat of government; and, 
should they be so considered, I will return immediately from 
any place at which the information may reach me. Or should 
they determine, that measures, relevant to the case, may be 
legally and properly pursued without the immediate agency 
of the President, I will approve and ratify the measures, 
which may be conformed to such determination. 

Presuming that the Vice-President will have left the seat 
of government for Boston, I have not requested his opinion 
to be taken on the supposed emergency; should it be other- 
wise, I wish him also to be consulted. 

The deep personal affection felt for Washington through- 
out the country found expression in the public prints. The 
sensibility of our ancestors is admirably illustrated in 
what passes for a news item: "The President of the United 
States set out from Philadelphia, on a tour, through the 
Southern States, on the 21st. ult. He was accompanied by 
a number of respectable characters; but best of all, he is 
accompanied by the prayers and wishes of the people over 
whom he presides; who will not cease to supplicate the 
Throne of Grace, that his health may be preserved; and 
that in that, he may enjoy every earthly felicity!" 

Before starting off from Mount Vernon, Washington 
received a letter from Jefferson (Philadelphia, March 
27th), expressing concern for his safety in travelling. "I 
shall be happy to hear that no accident has happened to 
you on the bad roads you have passed, and that you are 



both prepared for those to come by lowering the hang of 
your carriage, and exchanging the coachman for two postil- 
ions, circumstances which I confess to you appeared to me 
essential for your safety, for which no one on earth more 
sincerely prays, both from public and private regard, than 
he who has the honor to be etc." To which solicitous 
inquiry, Washington replied: "No accident has yet hap- 
pened, either from the high hanging of the carriage, or the 
mode of driving. The latter I must continue, as my pos- 
tilion is still too much indisposed to ride the journey." Sin- 
gularly enough, Jefferson's warning was prophetic ; for on 
the very day of Washington's departure from Mount 
Vernon, with "horses apparently much refreshed and in 
good spirits," an accident of an extraordinary nature 
occurred. Had it eventuated disastrously, it might have 
delayed, if not wholly prevented, the tour of the Southern 
States. Washington thus relates the singular occurrence 
in his diary: 

In attempting to cross the ferry at Colchester with the 
four Horses hitched to the Chariot by the neglect of the 
person who stood before them, one of the leaders got over- 
board when the boat was in swimming water and 50 yards 
from the shore — with much difficulty he escaped drowning 
before he could be disingaged — his struggling frightened the 
others in such a manner that one after another and in quick 
succession they all got overboard harnessed & fastened as 
they were and with the utmost difficulty they were saved & 
the Carriage escaped been dragged after them, as the whole 
of it happened in swimming water, & at a distance from 
the shore — Providentially — indeed miraculously — by the 
exertions of people who went off in Boats & jumped into the 
River as soon as the Batteau was forced into wading water — ■ 


PVashingtorfs Southern Tour 

no damage was sustained by the horses, Carriage or Har- 

After this startling accident — an apparently untoward 
beginning of his tour — Washington proceeded to Dum- 
fries, where he dined, apparently without demonstration 
on the part of the populace; and after dinner he visited and 
drank tea with his niece Mrs. Thomas Lee. 1 This restful 
visit was but the interlude to the long succession of recep- 
tions, greetings, dinners, and balls which began on the 
morrow and lasted uninterruptedly for well-nigh two 
months. There was incomparable fitness in the real inau- 
guration of his tour at Fredericksburg on April 8th. With 
that simplicity and selflessness which marked the man 
Washington, he gave no advance notice of his prospective 
visit to his boyhood home. Arising at six o'clock, he set off 
at once from Dumfries and breakfasted en route at Stafford 
Court House, where his coach was readily recognized and 
the people left their daily tasks to pay their respects to the 
revered guest. Not being apprized of his approach, the 
citizens were "disappointed in the opportunities of evinc- 
ing their respect to this illustrious character, by meeting 
him previous to his arrival." No sooner had his chariot 

i Thomas Lee, of "Parke Gate," near Dumfries, Virginia, was the eldest 
son of Richard Henry Lee and Anne Aylett, his first wife. He was born at 
"Chantilly," his father's home, on October 20, 1758, and died of consump- 
tion in 1805 at "Belmont," the home of his brother, Ludwell Lee, near 
Leesburg, Virginia. Thomas Lee was twice married, first about October 1 5, 
1788, to Mildred, daughter of John Augustine and Hannah (Bushrod) 
Washington, his wife. John Augustine was a younger brother of President 
George Washington. Mildred was born at "Bushfield," the home of her 
parents in Westmoreland County, about 1760. Thomas Lee's will, 1805, 
named his wife Eliza Ashton Lee and daughter Elinor Lee. 




and entourage swept through the quiet village overlooking 
the placid river than the place was all agog with the news: 
"The President is here! He arrived at one o'clock and is 
staying at the home of his sister, Elizabeth, Mrs. Fielding 
Lewis." 1 How charged with memories, grave and gay, 
must have been those hours he spent this day and the next 
in company with his sister Bettie, as he called her, at 
lovely "Kenmore!" Almost in sight across the river was 
Pine Grove, on the Ferry Farm where Washington as a lad 
played with his little neighbor, Jane Strother, one of his 
early sweethearts. Here grew that apochryphal cherry- 
tree which fell beneath the mischievous hatchet ; and here, 
too, if tradition doth not lie, he threw the Spanish dollar 
across the river. A quizzical smile must have flitted across 
that grave countenance now as he visited the "Rising Sun 
Tavern," built and owned by his brother Charles, where he 
had lost at cards "as usual," as he somewhere records in 
his diary, to those Fredericksburg fellows who were "too 
smart for him." Fredericksburg had seen him often 
through the quiet as well as the eventful years of his 

1 His sister Elizabeth married Colonel Fielding Lewis. Their son, 
Lawrence Lewis, was Washington's favorite nephew. He married Nelly 
Custis, Mrs. Washington's granddaughter, and resided with her at Mount 
Vernon at the time of Washington's death. (B. J. L.) 

Fielding Lewis, second son of John Lewis and Frances Fielding, born 
1725, married: first (1746), Catherine, daughter of John Washington and 
Catherine Whiting and first cousin of General George Washington; and 
second (1750), Bettie Washington, only sister of General George Washing- 
ton. He was not in field service during the Revolutionary War, being over 
the military age, but was engaged during the struggle in manufacturing 
arms for the patriot army. His home was " Kenmore," Fredericksburg, 
Virginia. He died in 1781. From Genealogies of Lewis and Kindred Fam- 
ilies by J. N. McAllister and L. B. Toody. Compare also Historic Periods of 
Fredericksburg, 1608-1861, by Mrs. Vivian Minor Fleming. 


Washington'' 's Southern Tour 

career; here he had foregathered with the young bloods 
of the town ; here he had reviewed the independent com- 
panies; and here he had often attended cotillions and 
country dances, at which he invariably paid chief court to 
the most beautiful and attractive ladies of those in attend- 
ance. Here in November, 1789, his mother accompanied 
him to a reception held in his honor; and here at the close 
of the Revolution was given the famous Peace Ball at 
which Mary, his mother, "occupied a slightly elevated po- 
sition from which she could overlook the floor and see the 
dances." It was at this time that the Mayor of the Cor- 
poration, William McWilliams, delivered the address of 
welcome in which were spoken with unaffected emotion 
these words: "Although you have laid aside your official 
character, we cannot omit this first opportunity you have 
given us of presenting, with unfeigned hearts, our sincere 
congratulations on your returning in safety from the noisy 
clashing of arms to the walks of domestic ease. And it 
affords us great joy to see you once more at a place that 
claims the honor of your growing infancy, the seat of your 
venerable and amiable parent and worthy relatives." 

As he passed down the main street of the town, his eyes 
turned to the Masonic Lodge, No. 4, where on November 
4, 1752, he became a member, and on August 4, 1753, was 
"raised a Master Mason." Upon the minutes of this same 
lodge are spread these sentiments, recorded shortly after 
Washington's death: "He was early initiated in this 
venerable Lodge, in the mysteries of our ancient and 

honorable profession; and held it in the highest and most 



just veneration. ... As a man he was frail, and it would be 
a compliment to which human nature cannot aspire to 
suppose him free from peculiarities or exempt from error. 
... In the offices of private life he was most endeared to 
those who were most in his familiarity and intimacy. . . . 
He is gone forever from our view, but gone to the realms 
of celestial bliss, where the shafts of malice and detraction 
cannot penetrate, where all sublunary distinctions cease, 
and merit is rewarded by the scale of unerring justice." 

Washington must have enjoyed this first day with the 
Lewises, especially making and renewing acquaintances 
with the children of his sister Bettie, who had thirteen all 
told. But preparations were going rapidly forward for a 
reception and public dinner at which due honor was to be 
paid to the beloved and honored guest who was regarded 
almost as a native son of Stafford. "An elegant dinner 
was prepared at the Town Hall," says a contemporary 
print; and at two o'clock Washington was "waited on by 
some of the officers and principal inhabitants of the cor- 
poration, conducted to the place of entertainment, received 
by the Mayor, and introduced to those present." After 
the greetings and introductions, marked by unusual hearti- 
ness and cordiality, were over, William Harvey, the Mayor, 
on behalf of the Corporation, then publicly delivered the 
following "affectionate congratulatory address": 

We, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council of the 
corporation of Fredericksburg are happy in tendering you 
the sincere and unanimous congratulations of the citizens on 
your arrival in this town. 

The inhabitants of Fredericksburg, Sir, as they can boast 


Washington's Southern Tour 

the first acquaintance with your virtues, claim a peculiar 
pleasure in testifying to the world your exalted merit; and in 
joining with the rest of America, to express their entire appro- 
bation of your conduct thro' life; which has been so produc- 
tive of blessings to the citizens. 

The long and fatiguing journey you have undertaken will 
further manifest your unremitted attachment to that coun- 
try, whose obligations to you can be better felt than described, 
and we trust will not only influence the present generation 
to admire public and private virtues, from your example, but 
teach your successors how to watch over the welfare of this 
extensive union. 

We have the fullest confidence in Divine Benevolence, that 
the Dispenser of all good will will be graciously pleased long 
to continue you in health, and reward you here and hereafter 
with blessings adequate to your merit, which he alone can 

In terms consonant with the spirit of the address, the 
President made the following gracious reply: 

To the Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council of the 

Corporation of Fredericksburg, 

At all times flattered by the esteem, and grateful for the 
good wishes of my fellow citizens, I am particularly so, when, 
to my respect for their public worth, is united the endear- 
ments of private acquaintance. 

In this regard, I have the pleasure to receive your con- 
gratulatory address on my arrival in Fredericksburg, and, 
thanking you with sincerity for the sentiments it expresses, 
I desire to assure you of the affectionate gratitude which they 

With unaffected enjoyment in having in their midst so 
famous a figure who was also a friend and familiar, the 
banqueters proposed toast after toast, fifteen in all, which 
were greeted with resounding applause; last of all the 



President won every heart by proposing the following 
highly popular sentiment: "The town we are in, and 
prosperity to its inhabitants." It is stated in a contem- 
porary print that "the whole was conducted with the ut- 
most regularity and decorum and the evening concluded 
with every mark of festivity and cheerfulness." 

In his diary of the journey, Washington records on this day : 

Was informed by Mr. Jno. Lewis, who had, not long since 
been in Richmond, that Mr. Patrick Henry had avowed his 
interest in the Yazoo Company; 1 and made him a tender of 
admission into it, whch, he declined — but asking, if the 
Company did not expect the Settlement of the lands would 
be disagreeable to the Indians was answered by Mr. Henry 
that the Co. intended to apply to Congress for protection — 
which, if not granted they would have recourse to their own 
means to protect the settlement — That General Scott had a 
certain quantity of land (I think 40,000 acres in the Company's 
grant & was to have the command of the force which was to 
make the establishment — and moreover — that General 
Muhlenburg had offered £1000 for a certain part of the grant 
— the quantity I do not recollect if it was mentioned to me. 

On the morning of his departure, Washington had a 
taste of the inconveniences of form; for despite the early 
hour of his departure — "about 6 o'clock" — he was 
attended for some miles out of town by a " large company 

1 The first legislature of Georgia, after the adoption of the Federal Con- 
stitution, undertook to sell out, to three private companies, the preemption 
right to vast tracts of land west of the Chattahoochee River, unmindful of 
any rightful claims of the Indians. They were called Yazoo Land Com- 
panies. They sold to the South Carolina Company 5,000,000 acres, for 
$566,964; to the Virginia Yazoo Company, 7,000,000 acres, for $93,742; and 
to the Tennessee Yazoo Company, 3,500,000 acres, for $46,875. These 
companies not complying with the requirements of the sale, a succeeding 
legislature declared the bargain a nullity. Some of the purchasers con- 
tested the claims, and litigations arose, which became still more com- 
plicated when the same lands were sold to other companies. (B. J. L ) 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

of gentlemen." The necessity for conversing with this 
company and maintaining the responsibilities of his high 
office — perhaps somewhat irksome at sunrise — as well 
as the nuisance of choking clouds of dust raised by the 
cavalcade, thus gave him at the very beginning of his tour 
a distaste for early morning escorts. The day's travel was 
uneventful, as is shown by Washington's own record: 
"Left Fredericksburg about 6 o'clock, — myself Majr 
Jackson and one Servant breakfasted at General Spots- 
woods * — the rest of my Servants continued on to Todd's 
Ordinary where they also breakfasted. — Dined at the 
Bowling Green — and lodged at Kenner's Tavern 14 
miles farther — in all 35 m." 

The events of Monday, April 1 ith, are also set out with 
almost painful brevity in the following bare recital of the 
diary: "Took an early breakfast at Kinner's — bated at 
one Rawling's half way between that & Richmond, and 
dined at the latter about 3 o'clock. — On my arrival was 
saluted by the Cannon of the place — waited on by the 
Governor 2 and other Gentlemen — and saw the City 
illuminated at night." 

1 Alexander Spotswood was the oldest son of John Spotswood, who was 
the oldest son of the colonial governor, Alexander Spotswood. The General 
Spotswood mentioned by Washington was commissioned Major in the 2d 
Virginia Regiment, August 17, 1775; Lieutenant-Colonel, May 7, 1776; 
Colonel, February 21, 1777; resigned October 9, 1777. He was a Brigadier- 
General in the State line, whence he derived his title. He and Washington 
were intimate friends, and frequently corresponded on agricultural matters. 
He died December 20, 1818. 

2 Beverley Randolph, son of Peter and Lucy (Boiling) Randolph, 
was born at "Chatsworth," Henrico County, Virginia, in 1754. He was 
graduated from William and Mary College, of which he was appointed 
a visitor in 1784. An ardent patriot, he was a member of the Virginia 





< s 

































, , 







Of M 


The genuine interest attaching to the James River 
Navigation Company makes memorable the tour of in- 
spection of the Canal which Washington made on the fol- 
lowing day. A brief account of the origin and operations 
of the Company may find excuse for being in the close 
association of Washington with its interests. 

As early as October, 1765, there was passed by the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Virginia an act looking to the extension 
of the navigation of the James River, from Westham down- 
wards through the great falls, and commissioners were 
designated to arrange for the digging and opening of such 
canals and aqueducts as might appear necessary. It was 
not until May, 1784, however, that the General Assembly 
passed an act making it lawful to "open books in the City 
of Richmond for receiving and entering subscriptions to 
the amount of one hundred thousand dollars," the said 
subscribers to be known as the "James River Company" 
in case fifty thousand dollars or more should be raised. On 
his return from the long journey through the Western 
Country, Washington wrote from Mount Vernon (October 
10, 1784) to Governor Benjamin Harrison as follows: 

I shall take the liberty now, my dear sir, to suggest a matter 
which would mark your administration as an important era 
in the annals of this country — if it should be recommended 
by you and adopted by the Assembly. 

Assembly during the Revolution. In 1787 he was chosen President of the 
Executive Council of Virginia. On December 1, 1788, he succeeded his 
relative, Edmund Randolph, as Governor of Virginia. He served three 
consecutive terms of one year each. His administration was notable for 
Indian depredations and the relations of Virginia to Pennsylvania. He 
died at his home, "Green Creek," in Cumberland County, Virginia, in 
February, 1797. 


TVashijigtorfs Southern Tour 

It has long been my opinion that the shortest, easiest and 
least expensive communication with the invaluable country 
back of us, would be by one or both of the rivers of this 
State. A combination of circumstances makes the present 
juncture more favorable for Virginia, than for any other 
State in the union, to fix these matters. It is my opinion that 
Commissioners be appointed to make an actual survey of the 
James River from tide-water to its source. 

It is well known that when Washington went to Rich- 
mond to meet the Marquis de Lafayette on November 15, 
1784, he had conferences with certain members of the 
Assembly on the subject of opening the James River; and 
it has been stated l that the chief object of his visit was to 
further the projects outlined in his letter, above quoted, 
to Governor Harrison. At the session of the Assembly, 
January, 1785, acts were passed for clearing and improv- 
ing the navigation of the James and Potomac; and one 
hundred shares of stock, of an estimated value of twenty 
thousand dollars, was voted to Washington, as Governor 
Harrison wrote him, "in commemoration of your assidu- 
ous care to promote your country's interests." 2 After 
mature reflection, Washington, who was sincerely touched 
by this "noble proof of the good opinion, affection, and 
disposition of my country," wrote the following letter 
to Governor Harrison, which was communicated to the 
General Assembly in session in October, 1785: 

1 Richmond in By-Gone Days: chapter "The James River Canal," by 
Samuel Mordecai. 1856. 

2 The preamble to the act reads: "Whereas it is the desire of this Com- 
monwealth to embrace every suitable occasion of testifying their sense of 
the unexampled merits of George Washington, esquire, toward his coun- 
try." (Hening's Statutes, col. 11.) 



Your Excellency having been pleased to transmit me a 
copy of an act appropriating to my benefit certain shares in 
the James River Company, I take the liberty of returning 
the same to the general assembly with the profound and 
grateful acknowledgements, inspired by so signal a mark of 
their beneflcient intention toward me. With these sentiments 
in my bosom I need not dwell on the anxiety I feel in being 
obliged in this instance, to decline a favor which is so affec- 
tionate in itself. When I was first called to the station with 
which I was honored during the late conflict for our liberties, 
I thought it my duty to shut my hand against every pecuni- 
ary recompence, and I do not consider myself at liberty to 
depart from such a course. Should it please the general as- 
sembly to permit me to turn the destination of this fund to 
objects of a public nature, it will be my object in selecting 
these, to prove the sincerity of my gratitude for the honour 
conferred on me. 1 

As a matter of fact, Washington donated his shares of 
the James River Company stock to Liberty Hall Academy, 
the seed from which sprang the flourishing Washington and 
Lee University of to-day. In 1775 the Hanover Presby- 
tery in Virginia established near present Fairfield, Rock- 
bridge County, a seminary of learning known as Mount 
Pleasant Academy. The next year this academy, often 
spoken of as Augusta Academy, was moved to a site near 
the present stone Timber Ridge Church, about seven 
miles from Lexington; and given the new name, Liberty 

1 Hening's Statutes, vol. 12. In a letter (Mount Vernon, July 30, 1785) 
to Edmund Randolph, acting President of the James River Company, 
Washington says: "I have therefore decided to hold the shares which the 
Treasurer was directed to subscribe on my account in trust for the use and 
benefit of the public. If agreeable to the Assembly I should like to establish 
a school on the James River for the education and support of the children of 
the poor — particularly for the children of those men who have fallen in 
defence of the rights and liberties of their country." 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

Hall Academy. At some time during the year 1780, the 
operations of the academy were wholly suspended, and 
were never resumed at Timber Ridge. In October, 1782, 
the trustees had the legislature pass an act incorporating 
the academy; and it was newly located on the edge of the 
farm of the Reverend William Graham, the first principal, 
near Lexington. The academy continued its functions 
until 1795, when a turn of good fortune materially in- 
creased the prospect for the future. The stock in the 
James River Company, which Washington held in trust 
for endowing some seminary of learning, had remained 
unproductive for ten years. When at last these shares 
gave promise of becoming productive, Washington began 
to consider donating them to some worthy institution. An 
address to Washington was prepared by friends and trus- 
tees of Liberty Hall Academy, urging its claims. In Sep- 
tember, 1796, Washington officially communicated to 
Robert Brooke, Governor of Virginia, his decision in favor 
of Liberty Hall Academy. The letter acknowledging the 
gift drew from Washington the following reply, addressed 
to the "Trustees of Washington Academy," the name 
which had been given Liberty Hall Academy following 
Washington's donation: 

Mount Vernon, June 17/A, 1798 
Gentlemen, — 

Unaccountable as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, that 
the address with which you were pleased to honor me, dated 
the 1 2th of April, never came to my hands until the 14th 

To promote literature in this rising empire, and to encour- 
age the arts, have ever been amongst the warmest wishes of 










— ■ 
















«s^E«sirir of *.■!;„. 



my heart. And if the donation, which the generosity of the 
Legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia has enabled me 
to bestow on Liberty Hall, now by your politeness called 
Washington Academy, is likely to prove a means to accom- 
plish these ends, it will contribute to the gratification of my 

Sentiments like those which have flowed from your pen 
excite my gratitude, whilst I offer my best vows for the pros- 
perity of the academy and for the honor and happiness of 
those under whose auspices it is conducted. 

Geo. Washington 

It was not until March, 1802, that the James River 
Company stock, which had a par value of twenty thou- 
sand dollars, paid its first dividend: six hundred dol- 
lars. 1 

On October 20, 1785, the stockholders of the James 
River Navigation Company met and elected George Wash- 
ington as president, and John Harris, David Ross, Wil- 
liam Cabell, and Edmund Randolph as directors. Owing 
to the pressure of many other obligations, Washington 
declined the "active presidency," 2 and during the term of 
Washington's nominal presidency the active duties of the 
office were performed by other men, the first of whom was 
Edmund Randolph, afterward Attorney-General of the 
United States. Washington was a stockholder of the com- 
pany for ten years, and was always deeply interested in its 

1 Consult Washington and Lee Historical Papers, No. I (1890). 

2 Writing to Edmund Randolph (Mount Vernon, September 16, 1785), 
Washington says: "I feel very sensibly the honor and confidence which 
has (sic) been reposed in me by the James River Company; and regret that 
it will not be in my power to discharge the duties of the office of President 
of the Board of Directors, with that punctuality and attention which the 
trust requires." 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

welfare. 1 It must be recalled that both the James River 
Company and the Potomac Company were incorporated 
in 1785, for the purpose of improving the navigation of 
the two rivers. Washington was selected as president of 
both companies, accepted the active presidency of the 
Potomac Company and served in that capacity until he 
resigned to become President of the United States. On 
the 29th of September, 1789, the members of the leg- 
islature of Virginia were invited to take a trip up the 
canal and through the locks. The canal was then opened 
from Westham to Broad-Rock, a short distance above 
the city. 

In Washington's diary, Tuesday, 12th, 1791, appears the 
following entry: 

' On October 5, 1795, on the retirement of Washington from the presi- 
dency of the company, William Foushee was elected as his successor, and 
held the office until 181 8. Foushee was succeeded by J. G. Gamble, who 
in turn was succeeded by W. C. Nicholas, in 1819. By the act of 1785, the 
first James River Company was required to make the river navigable for 
vessels drawing one foot of water at least, from the highest place practicable 
to the great falls beginning at Westham, and thence to make such canal 
or canals, with sufficient locks, as would open navigation to tidewater. 
On February 17, 1829, the State took over the company as a state "enter- 
prise" by the passage of an "Act for clearing and improving the navigation 
of the James River, and for uniting the eastern and western waters by the 
James and Kanawha rivers." The James River Company was under the 
control of the State Board of Public Works from 1823 until 1835, when the 
State sold out its interest to a new company, known as the James River and 
Kanawha Company, which proceeded to dig the canal from Richmond to 
Buchanan, in Botetourt County. This company sold out to the Richmond 
and Alleghany Railroad in 1880, and the James River Division of the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad now runs along the old tow-path of the canal. 
(Compare Richmond in By-Gone Days, by Samuel Mordecai: chapter, 
"The James River Canal.") I am indebted for information to Professor 
W. F. Dunaway, State College, Pennsylvania, who has published a His- 
tory of the James River and Kanawha Company (in Columbia University 
Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law. Longmans, Green & Co., 
New York, 1922, 251 pages). 



In company with the Governor, — the Directors of the 
James River Navigation Company — the Manager & many 
other Gentlemen — I viewed the Canal, Sluces, Locks, & other 
works between the City of Richmond & Westham. — These 
together have brought the navigation to within a mile and 
half, or mile and § of the proposed Bason; from which the 
Boats by means of Locks are to communicate with the tide 
water navigation below. — The Canal is of sufficient depth 
every where — but in places not brought to its proper width; 
it seems to be perfectly secure against Ice, Freshes & drift 
wood — The locks at the head of these works are simple — 
altogether of hewn stone, except the gates & cills — and 
very easy & convenient to work, — there are two of them, 
each calculated to raise and lower 6 feet — they cost accord- 
ing to the Manager's, Mr. Harris acct. about £3000 but I 
could see nothing in them to require such a sum to erect 
them. — The Sluces in the River, between the locks and the 
mouth of the Canal are well graduated and easy of assent — 
To complete the Canal from the point to which it is now 
opened, and the Locks at the foot of them, Mr. Harris thinks 
will require 3 years. 

During his stay in Richmond, it is most probable that he 
had his quarters at the home of Colonel Edward Carring- 
ton l — a soldier of the Revolution and a friend for whose 

1 Edward Carrington, son of George and Anne (Mayo) Carrington, was 
born in Goochland County, Virginia, February 11, 1749. Member of the 
County Committee in 1775-76; quartermaster-general in the Revolution, 
having been commissioned lieutenant-colonel of artillery November 30, 
1776. Second in command to General Nathanael Greene in the Southern 
campaign, and was taken prisoner at Charleston, South Carolina. Com- 
manded the artillery at Hobkirk's Hill and Yorktown. He was the brother- 
in-law of Chief Justice Marshall and the confidential friend of Washington. 
He was distinguished for personal prowess, imposing appearance, and dig- 
nity and sternness of manner. He was a member of the Continental Con- 
gress, 1785-86; mayor of Richmond; marshal of the United States Dis- 
trict Court of Virginia, 1789- ; foreman of the jury in the trial of 
Aaron Burr for treason in 1807. Was recommended by Washington for 
commander-in-chief of the American army, in the event of a war with 
France. He died in Richmond, Virginia, October 28, 18 10. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

good judgment Washington entertained genuine respect. 
Perhaps, too, while on this visit Washington once again 
visited the "Old Stone House," originally built by Jacob 
Ege and said to be the first dwelling erected within the 
city limits as then laid out — a house which had harbored 
beneath its sheltering roof Washington, Jefferson, Madi- 
son, and Monroe. 1 And as he passed that old wooden 
building, the City Tavern, his mind may have turned 
again, to that ball of the long ago, where "Minuets, Reels 
and Congos" were danced in his honor and for his delecta- 
tion. On the afternoon of Tuesday, the 12th, Washington 
received an address from the Mayor, Aldermen, and Com- 
mon Council of the City of Richmond — a ceremony 
which doubtless took place at the City Hall, although no 
mention of the place where the ceremony occurred is found 
in Washington's diary. This address of the Corporation of 
Richmond is interesting as an expression of the veneration 
with which Washington had come to be regarded by the 
great masses of the people. However factions might rage 
and political frenzy aim poison darts at the leader of the 
federation (without a capital letter!), the great masses of 
the people — sound and wholesome in their judgment — 
continued with increasing fervor to honor and to rever- 
ence Washington as the author of their liberties and as 
the founder of a nation. 

The address, which was delivered at three o'clock, is 
as follows: 

1 See Ege Genealogy in the library at the College of William and Mary, 
Williamsburg, Virginia. 







To George Washington, Esq., President of the United 


If in you the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of Rich- 
mond, beheld only the chief Magistrate of the United States 
of America, they would indeed feel all that respect which is 
due to the ruler of a free people; but when they contemplate 
those virtues which have excited the universal approbation 
of your own country, and the admiration of all mankind, they 
cannot approach you without emotions of veneration too big 
for utterance, — too pleasing to be suppressed. 

If the voice of the people be the trumpet of the Almighty, 
the universality of that gratitude which pervades every 
bosom in America, will ever remain an incontestable proof of 
the plaudit of Heaven on the fortitude and wisdom which 
secured to our common country independence and empire, 
and which now leads her to wealth and glory. 

We well know that to a mind like yours, fraught with 
benevolence and affection for all mankind, the gratitude and 
love of the nation, which you have saved must be the best and 
most pleasing reward; yet we are aware that to such a mind 
nothing could be more painful than that servility which would 
convert the sentiment of love into the language of adulation; 
we shun therefore the expression of the one, lest we should 
incur the imputation of the other; and while we beg leave to 
congratulate you on the astounding success which has hereto- 
fore attended all your endeavours for promoting the public 
welfare, we look forward with confidence and joy to the con- 
tinuance of that administration, which, through the blessings 
of the Supreme Being, hath been already productive of so 
much general happiness to the American empire; and we 
implore that Being, propitiously to smile on all your future 
designs, to guard and protect you in your intended tour, to 
grant you every earthly good, and that, when his providence 
shall see fit to summon you hence, you may be wafted to the 
regions of eternal happiness, lamented by men and welcomed 
by angels. 


Washington? 's Southern Tour 

Even the most confirmed admirer of Washington would 
wish that in this instance the fervor and obvious sincerity 
of the address might have inspired him to at least a warmer 
expression than that embodied in the following specimen 
of punctilious and lifeless propriety: 


The very distinguished manner in which you are pleased to 
note my public services, and to express your regard towards 
me, demands and receives a grateful and affectionate return. 

If to my agency in the affairs of our common country may 
be ascribed any of the great advantages which it now enjoys, 
I am amply and most agreeably rewarded in contemplating 
the happiness, and receiving the approbation of my fellow 
citizens, whose freedom and felicity are fixed I trust for ever 
on an undecaying basis of wisdom and virtue. 

Among the blessings which a gracious providence may be 
pleased to bestow on the people of America, I shall behold 
with peculiar pleasure, the prosperity of your city, and the 
individual happiness of its inhabitants. 

The home of Colonel Edward Carrington, fronting on 
Clay Street, was on the same square with his office, a very 
humble edifice shaded by a catalpa tree at the northwest 
corner of Marshall and Eleventh Streets. For his sound- 
ness of judgment and reliability as an officer in the Revolu- 
tion, Colonel Carrington had won the respect and regard 
of Washington; and it is worthy of record that in 1798, 
when war with France was imminent, Washington selected 
him to be Quarter-Master-General. At the time of Wash- 
ington's visit in 1791, Colonel Carrington was a United 
States Marshal for a large district in Virginia; and this 
"man of dignified deportment, which was well sustained 
by his tall and massive figure" — fit companion for the 



majestic Washington — was in a position to give the 
President accurate information regarding the state of pub- 
lic sentiment and opinion on national and political issues. 
In his diary (Tuesday, 12th), Washington records: 

In the course of my enquiries — chiefly from Col - Carring- 
ton — I cannot discover that any discontents prevail among 
the people at large, at the proceedings of Congress. — The 
conduct of the Assembly respecting the assumption l he 
thinks is condemned by them as intemperate & unwise — 
and he seems to have no doubt but that the Excise law — 
as it is called — may be executed without difficulty — nay 
more, that it will become popular in a little time — His duty 
as Marshall having carried him through all parts of the 
State lately, and of course given him the best means of ascer- 
taining the temper & disposition of its Inhabitants — he 
thinks them favorable towards the General Government — 
& that they only require to have matters explained to them 
in order to obtain their full assent to the measures adopted 
by it. 

It is obvious that Colonel Carrington painted con- 
ditions in Virginia couleur de rose, and that Washington 
was only too ready to credit what he greatly desired to be 
true. In a letter to his friend, Colonel Humphreys, upon 
his return to Mount Vernon, Washington somewhat cred- 
ulously voices his satisfaction: "Each day's experience of 
the government of the United States seems to confirm its 
establishment, and to render it more popular. A ready 

1 A part of Hamilton's financial scheme for the United States was the 
assumption of the respective State debts by the general government. 
This gave rise to violent opposition, and was the chief cause of Jefferson's 
bitter hostility to Hamilton. Out of the party feelings engendered by the 
assumption scheme grew the Republican party, that, during the latter years 
of Washington's administration, gave him much trouble because of the 
unkind spirit of opposition to the measures of the government. (B. J. L.) 


Washington's Southern Tour 

acquiescence in the laws made under it, shows in a strong 
light the confidence which the people have in their repre- 
sentatives, and in the upright views of those who admin- 
ister the government. At the time of passing a law impos- 
ing a duty on home made spirits, it was vehemently af- 
firmed by many, that such a law could never be executed, 
particularly in Virginia and North Carolina. As it came in 
force only on the first of this month, little can be said of its 
effects from experience; but from the best information I 
could get, on my journey, respecting its operation on the 
minds of the people, (and I took some pains to obtain 
information on this point) there remains no doubt but it 
will be carried into effect, not only without opposition, but 
with very general approbation, in those very parts where 
it was foretold it would never be submitted to by any- 

The record for Wednesday, 13th, is singularly brief, con- 
sidering the fact that Washington appeared in public at a 
dinner tendered him by the Corporation of Richmond. 
This dinner to Washington by the Corporation of Rich- 
mond was held at the famous old Eagle Tavern, 1 which 
stood on Main Street, between what are now Twelfth and 
Thirteenth Streets. No other record of the events of this 
day has as yet come to light. Washington's diary reads as 
follows : 

1 Here, on March 4, 1805, the Democratic Republican Party gave a 
dinner to celebrate the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson for a second term 
as President of the United States. Here, too, on October i\, 1809, Jeffer- 
son himself was entertained by the citizens of Richmond at the close of his 
second term. In later years it was the scene of many historic banquets and 



Fixed with Col a Carrington (the supervisor of the district) 
the surveys of Inspection for the District of this State & 
named the characters for them — an acct. of which was 
transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury. 

Dined at a public entertainment given by the Corporation 
of Richmond. 

The buildings in this place have encreased a good deal 
since I was here last, but they are not of the best kind, — the 
number of Souls in the City are .' 

After an early breakfast, on Thursday, 14th, the Presi- 
dent set off for Petersburg. At Manchester the people 
were out in force to greet the traveller who embodied the 
dignity and distinction of the new republic; and full honors 
were paid the general in the salute of cannon. Indeed, 
to the President's surprise, he found drawn up at Man- 
chester, to attend him as far as Osborne's, 2 the cavalry of 
Chesterfield County under the command of Captain 
David Meade Randolph. 3 Had Washington consulted his 

1 In 1790 the population of Richmond was 3761. In 1800 the population 
was 5735. An approximate figure for the population in 1791 is 4000. 

2 A point between Richmond and Petersburg, where troops under the 
traitor Arnold, and the republicans, had a severe skirmish in April, 1781. 
A prisoner captured by Arnold at that time was asked by him, "If the 
Americans should catch me, what would they do with me?" The soldier 
promptly replied, "They would bury with military honors the leg which 
was wounded at Quebec and Saratoga, and hang the remainder of you upon 
a gibbet." (B. J. L.) 

3 David Meade Randolph (born 1760, died September 23, 1830) was the 
son of Richard Randolph, 2d, of "Curies," and his wife Anne, daughter of 
David Meade. He served in the Revolution as Captain in Bland's Dra- 
goons; and was United States Marshal for Virginia. He lived first at 
"Presqu'ile," Chesterfield County, near Osborne's, and later at the 
corner of Fifth and Main Streets, Richmond (the house afterwards owned 
by Mrs. Allan, at the time Edgar Allan Poe was at the University of 
Virginia). Mrs. Randolph was Mary, daughter of Thomas M. Randolph, 
of "Tuckahoe." The Randolph establishment in Richmond was dubbed 
"Moldavia," after Molly and David, its mistress and master. "Mrs. 
Randolph," says Mordecai, "was one of the remarkable and distinguished 


Washington's Southern Tour 

own personal inclinations, he would doubtless have chosen 
to leave the cavalcade and accompany Captain Randolph 
to his fine plantation "Presqu'ile," of which the Due de 
La Rochefoucault-Liancourt thus speaks at length in his 
"Travels": 1 

Presqu'ile, Mr. Davies Randolph's Plantation 

At Petersburg I had met Mr. Davies Randolph, for whom 
I had a letter; and, in consequence of his invitation, I went to 
his house and there spent a day. He lives at City-Point or 
Bermuda-Hundred, the place where the river Appomattox 
discharges its stream into James-River. Here the water is 
sufficiently deep to admit ships of any tonnage: and this in 
the place where the larger vessels discharge their cargoes into 
lighters, and thus forward to Richmond and Petersburg the 
merchandize which they have brought. City-Point is the 
spot where the custom-house is established for those two 
places. If the towns of Richmond and Petersburg had been 
erected at City-Point, their commerce would have been more 
considerable, their intercourse with Europe more direct, and 
Norfolk would not, as now is the case, have engrossed almost 
the entire trade of that part of Virginia. But City-Point lies 
low, and is surrounded by swamps. The air in the vicinity is 
not salubrious; and, in all probability, the detriment which 
the inhabitants must have suffered in point of health would 
have been sufficient to counterbalance the advantage of su- 
perior opulence. 

persons of her day. . . . The friend who had named Moldavia, now [after 
she had opened a boarding-house on Carey Street, following her husband's 
removal from office by Jefferson] conferred on her the title of Queen. . . . 
The Queen soon attracted as many subjects as her dominions could accom- 
modate, and a loyal set they generally were. There were few more festive 
boards than the Queen's. Wit, humor, and good-fellowship prevailed. . . ." 
(Consult Mordecai: Richmond in By-Gone Days; also William and Mary 
Quarterly, ix, 182, 183, 250-52.) 

1 Travels through the United States of North America, the Country of the 
Iroquois, and Upper Canada, in the years 1795, 1796, and 1797. Vol. u. 
(London, 1799.) 





At a half-mile from the custom-house stands the habitation 
of Mr. Davies Randolph, in one of those long windings which 
James-River forms in this part: from which circumstance it 
is that this plantation bears the name of Presqu'ile (or Penin- 

Mr. Davies Randolph is fully entitled to the reputation 
which he enjoys of being the best farmer in the whole country. 
He possesses seven hundred and fifty acres of land, of which 
three hundred and fifty are at present susceptible of cultiva- 
tion; the rest are all swampy grounds, which may probably 
be drained at a considerable expence, but which have not yet 
undergone that process. Eight negroes (of whom two are 
little better than children), two horses, and four oxen, culti- 
vate those three hundred and fifty acres, which he has divided 
into fields of forty acres inclosed. Of those three hundred 
and fifty acres, only forty, which are subdivided into six 
portions, are alternately dunged; the remainder never has 
been so. 

The common rotation of culture in the country is, Indian 
corn, wheat, fallow, and thus again in regular succession. 
The lands produce from five to eight bushels of wheat per 
acre, and from twelve to fifteen of Indian corn, according 
to their quality. Mr. Randolph has deviated from this sys- 
tem of culture on his estate: that which he pursues is as 
follows — Indian corn, oats, wheat, rye, fallow; and he 
raises from ten to twelve bushels of wheat per acre, and from 
eighteen to twenty-five of Indian corn. The rise in the price 
of wheat has induced him to vary the rotation of his crops, 
and to substitute that of wheat, oats or rye, wheat, two years' 
fallow. By pursuing this method, he reaps from thirteen to 
sixteen bushels of wheat. He separately cultivates the Indian 
corn in one or two fields according to his former rotation. He 
has proved by experience that manuring with dung triples the 
produce. His lands are good; and, compared with the rest of 
the country, they are kept in very excellent condition, though 
very indifferently in comparison with the most ordinary 
husbandry of Europe. He keeps no cows except for the pur- 
poses of the dairy, and to furnish him with calves for his own 


Washington's Southern Tour" 

consumption. His cows are very fine, and of his own rearing. 
His labouring oxen are of a small breed; and it is thought in 
the country that those of larger size could not stand the heat. 
He purchases those labouring oxen at thirty dollars the pair. 
Mr. Randolph feeds thirty sheep, but merely for the supply 
of his own table. 

He declares that each of his negroes last year produced to 
him, after all expences paid, a net sum of three hundred dol- 
lars, although he sold his wheat for no more than a dollar the 
bushel. He expected that they would this year have cleared 
him four hundred dollars each; but the fall in the prices of 
produce will disappoint his hopes. 

The situation of his house gives him also the means of 
annually selling eight or nine hundred dollars' worth of fish 
— sturgeon, shad, and herrings, which he salts. 

His swampy grounds supply him with abundance of timber 
for fuel and fences: but they produce a still greater abundance 
of noxious exhalations which prove a source of frequent and 
dangerous diseases. Mr. Randolph is himself very sickly; 
and his young and amiable wife has not enjoyed one month 
of good health since she first came to live on this plantation. 
Accordingly Mr. Randolph intends to quit it, and remove to 
Richmond, where moreover he has frequent business in con- 
sequence of his office, which is that of marshal to the state. 
He wishes to sell this plantation, which, in the worst years, 
has brought him in eighteen hundred dollars, and which, for 
the last two years, has yielded him three thousand five hun- 
dred. It is in very good condition: but he cannot find a pur- 
chaser for it at the sum of twenty thousand dollars, which he 
demands. This fact furnishes a proper idea of the low price of 
land in Virginia. I have been assured, that, although some of 
the lands have doubled their value during the last twenty 
years, a much greater portion have fallen in their price. 

At Osborne's, the company was swelled by the addition 

of the cavalry of Prince George and Dinwiddie Counties, 

and a considerable number of the citizens of Petersburg. 

Much interest had been displayed by the people of 



Petersburg long in advance of Washington's coming. On 
March 22d, at the house of Robert Armistead (which was 
used both by the Hustings Court and the Common 
Council of the town of Petersburg), a meeting of the 
Common Council was held; present: Joseph Westmore, 
Esq., Mayor, and Samuel Davies, Thomas G. Peachy, 
Rob. Bate, Joseph Weisiger, Archibald Gracie, Gentlemen 
Aldermen; James Geddy, William Durrell, John Story, 
Benjamin Smith, and Daniel Dobson, Gentlemen of the 
Common Council. In the records of this meeting appears 
the following: "The Hall having received information, 
that the President of the United States is expected shortly 
to pass through this place on his way to the Southward — 
It is thought proper in order to shew the sense and respect 
of this Corporation to his Excellency's person and char- 
acter, that an address ought to be presented to him on his 
arrival in this place." The address finally delivered is 
spread upon the minutes of this same day. In the records 
of Wednesday, April 13th, appears the following: 

It being represented to this Hall that the President of the 
United States is expected to arrive in this town to-morrow, 
and from certain circumstances that have taken place, it may 
be expected that a public dinner is to be provided for the 
occasion — It is therefore ordered, that Mr. Robert Armi- 
stead be requested to provide a public dinner to-morrow, to 
be paid out of the subscriptions obtained for that purpose — 
and, it is ordered that a Ball be also provided (out of the 
subscriptions already obtained) on Friday next. That the 
President and his suit be invited thereto, and that they also, 
together with the Judges of the District Court be invited to 
Dine on Friday with the members of the Common Hall, at 
Mr. Durell's — Mr. Davis, Mr. Gracie & Mr. Buchanan are 


Washington's Southern Tour 

appointed to contract for, and to provide dinner on Friday 
and to adjust the ceremonies etc. No member is to invite 
more than two gentlemen to dinner Friday, and is to pay for 
the gentlemen they may invite. — And whereas, It hath been 
recommended, heretofore, by the Common Hall that a Gen- 
eral Illumination should be on the evening of the arrival of 
the President of the United States in this Town — But upon 
reconsideration the Common Hall taking into view the dan- ■ 
gerous consequences which might attend a general illumina- 
tion of the Houses, being chiefly of wood, in this Town, Do 
Request the Inhabitants to refrain from Illuminating either 
their Dwelling Houses or Stores on any evening during the 
stay of the President in this Town. 1 

As Washington mounted the high bluffs overlooking 
Petersburg, now called Colonial Heights, and saw the fair 
town stretched out before him, he may have thought of the 
famous Colonel William Byrd, founder of both the city he 
had recently left and the town he was now approaching. 
After visiting his plantation, called "The Land of Eden" 
and located on the Roanoke River in North Carolina, 
in 1733, Byrd recorded in his journal: "When we got 
home we laid the foundation of two large cities — one at 
Shocco's, to be called Richmond, and the other at the foot 
of Appomattox River, to be called Petersburg. . . . These 
places, being the uppermost landing of James and Appo- 
mattox Rivers, are naturally intended for marts, where the 
traffic of the outer inhabitants must centre. Thus did we 
build not castles only, but cities in the air." As the Presi- 
dent entered the town, he passed beneath triumphal arches 
which had been erected for the occasion; and was con- 

1 Robert Armistead was the proprietor of Armistead's Tavern, after- 
wards known as Powell's Tavern. 



ducted to the house of Robert Armistead, "where an ele- 
gant entertainment was provided, at which the President 
was pleased to favour the citizens with his presence. After 
dinner a number of patriotic toasts were drunk, attended 
by a discharge of cannon." * Owing to the fact that the 
President was to be in town only on Thursday, the din- 
ner at Durell's Tavern on Old Street — once famous as 
the Golden Ball Tavern, where the British officers had 
been quartered during the Revolution — which had been 
planned for Friday, was of necessity abandoned. How- 
ever, a committee from the Common-Hall, headed by the 
Mayor, Joseph Westmore, waited upon the President, and 
delivered the following "Address of the Mayor, Recorder, 
Aldermen, and Common Council, of the town of Peters- 
burg." This address is significant, in that it expressly 
states that the people of Petersburg look upon Washington 
as "the Father of his Country" — which gives a clue to 
that veneration which Washington had inspired in the 
people everywhere. 

To the President of the United States 

We avail ourselves of the earliest opportuni ty that your pres- 
ence has afforded us, to offer you our sincere and affectionate 
respects; to welcome you, most cordially, to this place, and to 
assure you, which we do with confidence of the high regard 
and great affection the inhabitants of this town entertain for 
your person, and your many virtues. We look upon you, Sir, 
as the father of your country, and the friend of mankind, and 
when we contemplate your character in that light, we feel 
ourselves impressed with the purest sentiments of gratitude, 
respect and veneration. May you long continue at the head 
1 Virginia Herald, and Fredericksburg Advertiser, April 28, 1791. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

of our government, honoured, respected and beloved, as you 
are at present, and we pray, most ardently, that the all-wise 
Director of human events, may prolong your life to a far dis- 
tant period of time, and may bless you to your latest breath, 
with health uninterrupted, and with that happy tranquility 
of mind which ever flows from a conscious rectitude, and 
from a heart always anxious to promote the happiness of the 
human race. 

We sincerely wish that the tour which you are about to 
make, may be an agreeable one, and that it may afford you 
every imaginable satisfaction. 

The President made the following conventionally phrased, 
yet doubtless sincerely felt reply: 


Receiving with pleasure, I reply with sincerity to your flat- 
tering and affectionate address. I render justice to your 
regard, and to my own feelings, when I express the gratitude 
which the sentiments it contains have inspired, and you will 
allow me to say, that gratitude so impressed, must be lasting. 

The government of the United States, originating in the 
wisdom, supported by the virtue, and having no other object 
than the happiness of the people, reposes not on the exertions 
of an individual — yet, as far as integrity of intention may 
justify the belief, my agency in the administration will be 
consonant to your favourable opinions; — and my private 
wishes will always be proffered for the prosperity of Peters- 
burg and the particular welfare of its inhabitants. 1 

In addition to the public dinner given by the Mayor 
and Corporation, Washington in the evening attended an 
"Assembly" or ball at the Mason's Hall at which, accord- 
ing to his diary, there were present "between 60 and 70 
ladies." It is plain that Washington was wholly uninter- 

1 Washington's reply to the address of welcome appears upon the town 
records, beneath the entry: "At a court of Common Council held in the 
town of Petersburg on Thursday 14th of April 1791." 



ested in the number of men who were present, as he does 
not refer to them ! 

Agriculture and commerce always constitute the main 
points of interest with Washington, as the following entry 

Petersburg which is said to contain near 3000 Souls is well 
situated for trade at present, but when the James River navi- 
gation is completed and the cut from Elizabeth River to 
Pasquotanck effected it must decline & and that very con- 
siderably. — At present it receives at the Inspections nearly 
a third of the Tobacco exported from the whole State besides 
a considerable quantity of Wheat and flour — much of the 
former being Manufactured at the Mills near the Town — 
Chief of the buildings, in this town are under the hill & 
unpleasantly situated, but the heights around it are agree- 

The Road from Richmond to this place passes through a 
poor country principally covered with Pine except the inter- 
val lands on the River which we left on our left. 

Perhaps it is worthy of record that Pollock, in his 
"Guide," Observes: "From this it will be seen that Wash- 
ington was by no means an infallible prophet, for neither 
did the population of Petersburg fall off nor was his be- 
loved scheme of James River navigation ever 'com- 
pleted.'" The brevity of Washington's visit doubtless 
prevented a visit to that "most unique memorial in 
America," Old Blandford Church — "standing in quiet 
beauty amid acres of heroic dust " — concerning which the 
Irish tragedian, Tyrone Power, it is believed, penned the 

1 Historical and Industrial Guide to Petersburg, Virginia, by Edward 
Pollock. Petersburg, i860. 


J / Vashingto7i > s Southern Tour 

O! could we call the many back 
Who've gathered here in vain, — 
Who've careless roved where we do now, 
Who'll never meet again: 

How would our very souls be stirred, 

To meet the earnest gaze 
Of the lovely and the beautiful 

The lights of other days! 

Petersburg enjoys the unenviable distinction of being 
the scene of the departure of Washington — for the only 
historically recorded occasion — from the strait and nar- 
row path of strict veracity. The preceding day, the dust 
kicked up by the numerous cavalry of Chesterfield, Prince 
William, and Dinwiddie had got into the eyes, throat, and 
nostrils of the long-suffering pater sua patrice — and made 
him most uncomfortable. How endeared we are to the 
supposed "hero of the cherry-tree story," to the improb- 
able person who "could not tell a lie," by this thor- 
oughly human trait — the truth of the incident being 
attested by the fact that it is recorded by Washington 
himself in his diary! 

Friday, April i$th. 

Having suffered very much by the dust yesterday — and 
finding that parties of Horse & a number of other Gentle- 
men were intending to attend me part of the way to-day, I 
caused their enquiries respecting the time of my setting out, 
to be answered that, I should endeavor to do it before eight 
o'clock; but I did it a little after five, by which means I 
avoided the inconveniences above mentioned. 

With Jesuitical piety, the hero-worshipping Edward 

Everett apologetically observes: "The President started 



jiff HfWW 


from Petersburg practicing a little artifice as to the time 
of his departure — of which I recollect no other instance 
in his whole career — and which, involving no departure 
from the strictest truth, and resorted to for the best of 
reasons, will not be blamed"! 


North Carolina : Ha/if ax, Tarborough, Greenville, New Berne 

TO Washington, who always rejoiced when his con- 
duct evoked the plaudits of the nation, must have 
come a sense of gratification amounting to elation on 
observing the popular approbation of the Southern tour. 
The President was heartily commended in the press of the 
day for combining "the pleasant" and "the useful" — 
for taking an outing which would be not merely beneficial 
to his health and a pleasing relaxation from the weighty 
affairs of government, but primarily designed for the 
benefit of the people at large. "Perhaps as the former 
King of Spain," comments a representative writer, "he 
might have chosen to sport away an hour now and then 
in bobbing for gudgeon, or shooting snipe — Or like the 
King of France regularly a fourth part of the day in stag 
hunting, or something similar — Or in imitation of the 
King of Great Britain, have indulged betimes in the 
amusement of a Fox-Chase ; but let our Washington set 
the example — already it is followed — The Secretary of 
State, and a distinguished member of the federal legisla- 
ture, have spent some time in a tour thro part of the east- 
ern states. Their observations, and the information they 
will collect in their journey, will probably be turned to 
good account. . . . What satisfaction must it afford every 
citizen of these United States, to observe the pains our 


North Carolina 

President has taken, since the dissolution of the last 
federal legislature, to improve the interval between it and 
the next, for the good of the people over which he presides, 
by visiting the Southern extremity of the confederated 
republic." 1 

Everywhere, as Washington's chariot with its outriders 
and baggage-wagon passed along, it was recognized by 
the farmers working in the fields, by the slaves, by the 
children. When the shout went up: "The President is 
coming! The President is coming!" farmers left their 
ploughshares, negroes dropped shovel, rake, and hoe, 
housewives left their duties — all rushed down to the road- 
side and, as the majestic and awe-inspiring Washington in 
his impressive-looking chariot passed along, waved their 
hats and handkerchiefs and shouted "Huzza" and "Long 
live the President" with fervent enthusiasm. We must 
imagine these scenes, for they assuredly occurred — and 
frequently; but Washington makes no mention of them in 
the pages of his diary. The following extracts deal with 
two singularly uneventful days — there being no towns 
or cities along the way and no formal demonstrations of 
any kind taking place: 
Friday, \$th. . . . 

I came twelve miles to breakfast, at one Jesse Lee's, a 
tavern newly set up upon a small scale, and 15 miles 
farther to dinner; and where I lodged, at the House of one 
Oliver, which is a good one for horses, and where there are 
tolerable clean beds. — For want of proper stages I could go 
no farther. — The Road along whch I travelled today is 

1 The General Advertiser (Philadelphia). 

Washington's Southern Tour 

through a level piney Country, until I came to Nottoway, 1 on 
which there seems to be some good land, the rest is very poor 
& seems scarce of Water. 

Finding that the two horses wch. drew my baggage waggon 
were rather too light for the draught; and, (one of them espe- 
cially) losing his flesh fast, I engaged two horses to be at this 
place this evening to carry it to the next stage 20 miles off in 
the morning, and sent them on led to be there ready for me. 

Saturday, 16th. 

Got into my Carriage a little after 5 o'clock, and travelled 
thro' a cloud of dust until I came within two or three miles of 
Hix's ford when it began to Rain. — Breakfasted at one 
Andrews' a small but decent House about a mile after pass- 
ing the ford (or rather the bridge) over Meherrin River. — 
Although raining moderately, but with appearances of break- 
ing up, I continued my journey — induced to it by the crouds 
which were coming into a general Muster at the Court 
House of Greensville, who would I presumed soon have made 
the Ho. I was in too noizy to be agreeable. — I had not how- 
ever rode two miles before it began to be stormy, & to rain 
violently which, with some intervals, it contind. to do the 
whole afternoon. — The uncomfortableness of it, for Men 
& Horses, would have induced me to put up; but the only 
Inn short of Hallifax having no stables in wch. the horses 
could be comfortable, & no Rooms or beds which appeared 
tolerable, & every thing else having a dirty appearance, I was 
compelled to keep on to Hallifax; 27 miles from Andrews — 
48 from Olivers — and 75 from Petersburgh — At this place 
(i.e. Hallifax) I arrived about six o'clock, after crossing the 
Roanoke; on the South bank of which it stands. 

This River is crossed in flat Boats which take in a Carriage 
& four horses at once. — At this time, being low, the water 
was not rapid but at times it must be much so, as it fre- 
quently overflows its banks which appear to be at least 25 ft. 
perpendicular height. 

1 The Nottoway and the Meherrin Rivers unite to form the Chowan 
River, which empties into Albemarle Sound. 


North Carolina 

The lands upon the River appear rich, & the low grounds of 
considerable width — but those which lay between the dif- 
ferent Rivers — namely Appomattox, Nottaway, Meherrin 
and Roanoke are all alike flat, poor & covered principaly 
with pine timber. 

It has already been observed that before the Rain fell, I 
was travelling in a continued cloud of dust — but after it had 
rained some time, the Scene was reversed, and my passage 
was through water; so level are the Roads. 

From Petersburg to Hallifax (in sight of the Road) are but 
few good Houses, with small appearances of wealth. — The 
lands are cultivated in Tobacco — Corn, — Wheat & Oats, but 
Tobacco & the raising of Porke for market, seems to be the 
principal dependence of the Inhabitants ; especially towards the 
Roanoke. — Cotton & Flax are also raised but not extensively. 

Hallifax is the first town I came to after passing the line 
between the two States, and is about 20 miles from it. — To 
this place vessels by the aid of Oars & Setting poles are 
brought for the produce which comes to this place, and others 
along the River; and may be carried 8 or 10 miles higher to 
the falls which are neither great nor of much extent; — 
above these (which are called the great falls) there are others; 
but none but what may with a little improvement be passed. 
This town stands upon high ground; and it is the reason 
given for not placing it at the head of the navigation there 
being none but low ground between it and the falls — It 
seems to be in a decline & does not it is said contain a thou- 
sand Souls. 1 

1 " Halifax, on the Roanoke," says McRee, "is the centre of one of the 
most fertile regions in America; it was long noted for the opulence, hospi- 
tality, fashion and gaiety of its citizens." It was at Halifax, on April 12, 
1776, that the Provincial Congress of North Carolina "Resolved, That the 
delegates for this colony in the Continental Congress be impowered to 
concur with the delegates of the other colonies in declaring indepen- 
dency . . ." North Carolina was thus the first colony to "vote explicit 
sanction to independence." In his Journal (1783), General Nathanael 
Greene says "Halifax is a little village, containing about fifty or sixtv 
houses, on the banks of the Roanoke, one hundred miles from the sea. . . . 
Mr. Wily Jones has the only costly seat in or about this place, and is one 
of its principal inhabitants." 


Washington's Southern Tour 

At Halifax resided two men of eminence who had played 
important roles in the dramatic struggle over the ratifica- 
tion of the Constitution by North Carolina — William 
Richardson Davie and Willie Jones. At the Hillsborough 
Convention in August, 1788, Jones had triumphed in 
masterly fashion in face of the eloquence of Davie, the 
sanity of Iredell, the wisdom of Steele — North Carolina 
rejecting the Constitution by a vote of 184 to 84. Jones 
was greatly embittered when, the following year, North 
Carolina ratified the Constitution. It is said that, on be- 
ing asked to act as chairman of the committee concerned 
with the entertainment of Washington during his stay in 
Halifax, Jones declined with the observation: "I shall be 
glad to greet General Washington as soldier and man; 
but I am unwilling to greet him in his official capacity as 
President of the United States." l 

At Halifax Washington was doubtless greeted and with 
especial warmth, by his Masonic brethren of the famous 
Royal White Hart Lodge 2 — the second oldest Masonic 

1 Willie Jones was a personality of strange eccentricity, as well as of 
great gifts. At one time he was President of the Council of Safety, and so 
acting Governor of North Carolina until the election of Governor Richard 
Caswell in 1776. Elected in 1787, he declined to serve as delegate to the 
Convention at Philadelphia to adopt the Constitution of the United 
States, which he vehemently opposed. Among other curious clauses in his 
will is the following: "My family and friends are not to mourn my death 
even by a black rag; on the contrary I give to my wife and three daughters 
each a Quaker colored silk to make them hoods on the occasion"! Cf. W. 
C. Allen: History of Halifax County (Boston, 1918). 

2 At the meeting of the Royal White Hart Lodge, December 27, 1799, 
notice having been given of the "death of our beloved Brother George 
Washington, Grand Master of the United States," it was: 

"Resolved unanimously, that this Lodge go into the usual mourning for 
the day & that the members thereof wear a white Crape around their left 


North Carolina 

lodge in North Carolina and chartered by the Revolution- 
ary patriot, Cornelius Harnett. Here somewhat earlier 
dwelt the distinguished citizen, Joseph Montfort, some- 
time Master of this lodge, who held from the Duke of 
Beaufort, Grand Master of England, a commission as 
"Provincial Grand Master of and for America." x One of 
his daughters, Mary, was the wife of Willie Jones ; the 
other, Elizabeth, the wife of Colonel John Baptista Ashe. 2 
On Sunday, 17th, "C0I ' Ashe the Representative of the 
district in which this town stands, and several other 
Gentlemen," records Washington in his diary, "called 
upon, and invited me to partake of a dinner which the In- 
habitants were desirous of seeing me at & excepting 
it dined with them accordingly." The local tradition 

arm for the space of one month, in testimony of their respect & affection 
for the said dec'd & in remembrance of his many patriotic and masonic 

This resolution was ordered published ; and on the following February 
22d, the Lodge ordered a "funeral oration" to be delivered, which was 
duly done by the brother, the Reverend James L. Wilson. 

For this information I am indebted to Sterling Marshall Gary, Esq., 
Clerk of the Superior Court, Halifax County. 

1 The original document, which is unique in Masonic history, is pre- 
served in the archives of Masonry in North Carolina. See Proceed- 
ings of the Grand Council Royal and Select Masters of North Carolina 

2 John Baptista Ashe, born at Rocky Point, North Carolina (1748), was 
the son of Governor John Ashe and Mary (Porter) Ashe. Fought at the 
Battle of Alamance in 1771. Early in the Revolution was appointed cap- 
tain in the Sixth Regiment of Continental Troops. Served under General 
Greene at the Battle of Eutaw Springs. Attained rank of lieutenant- 
colonel. Member of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati. Was 
married to Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Joseph Montfort, October 7, 
1779. Member of the Continental Congress (1787-88), and of the First and 
Second Congresses under the Constitution (1789-93). Member of North 
Carolina House of Commons (1786), of the State Senate (1789, 1795). By 
the Legislature in 1802 he was elected Governor of North Carolina, but 
died before being inaugurated. 


TVashi?igtorfs Southern Tour 

runs that he was royally banqueted at the Eagle Hotel, 1 
near the river in the lot almost opposite the Allen home, 
which is still standing. 2 A Revolutionary soldier, particu- 
larly distinguished for his action at the battle of Eutaw 
Springs, Colonel Ashe had already endeared himself to 
Washington — an additional tie being Ashe's enthusiastic 
advocacy of the adoption of the Constitution by North 
Carolina in 1789. At the banquet he probably regaled 
Washington with the anecdote of the retort of his wife 
to Colonel Banastre Tarleton during the Revolution 
when General Leslie and the British troops were quar- 
tered at Halifax. Tarleton often indulged his sarcastic 
wit in the presence of Mrs. Ashe at the expense of 
Colonel William Washington, her favorite hero. On one 
occasion, Tarleton vauntingly observed to her that he 
would like to have an opportunity of seeing this great hero, 
who he had understood was a very small man. "If you had 
looked behind you at the Battle of Cowpens, Colonel 
Tarleton," she retorted quick as a flash, "you would have 
had that pleasure" — a taunt which utterly humiliated 
the British swashbuckler. Mrs. Ashe made another famous 
retort to Tarleton, who on one occasion said that he under- 
stood Colonel Washington was so illiterate that he could 
scarcely sign his name. "At least he can make his mark," 
retorted Mrs. Ashe, pointing to Tarleton's hand which 

1 The Eagle Tavern is advertised for sale in the North Carolina Journal 
(Halifax), November i8, 1805. 

2 In a letter to the Honorable James Iredell, Esq., Philadelphia, written 
from "Hayes," May 23, 1791, Samuel Johnston writes: "The Reception of 
the President at Halifax was not such as we could wish tho in every other 
part of the Country he was treated with proper attention." 






Of !HE 
• - "i.UHSIS 

North Carolina 

still bore evidence of Washington's sabre-cut. Thirty-four 
years later, when the Marquis de la Fayette visited Hali- 
fax, he called upon this famous lady's sister, the equally 
talented Mrs. Willie Jones, on learning that she was too 
feeble to attend the reception in his honor. "The meeting 
of the General and this venerable lady," says a contempo- 
rary print, "was truly affecting. There was not a dry eye 
in the room. The aged frame of Mrs. Jones was convulsed 
with feeling, and the General sank into a chair, overpow- 
ered with various and conflicting emotions." 1 

Monday, the 18th, seems to have been an unusually un- 
eventful day ; but we are grateful to it for one of the few 
traces of humor which the diary exhibits — Washington's 
tribute to the lone cannon which was so energetic in salut- 
ing him upon his arrival at Tarborough. The diary for the 
day reads as follows: 

Set out by six o'clock — dined at a small house kept by 
one Slaughter, 11 Miles from Hallifax and lodged at Tar- 
borough 14 Miles further. 

This place is less than Hallifax, but more lively and thriv- 
ing; — it is situated on the Tar River which goes into Pamplico 
Sound and is crossed at the Town by means of a bridge a 
great height from the water, and notwithstanding the freshes 
rise sometimes nearly to the arch. — Corn, Porke, and some 

1 Cf. Mrs. Ellet's Women of the American Revolution; B. J. Lossing's 
Field Book of the Revolution. It is claimed by the most reliable biographers 
of John Paul Jones that, out of gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Willie Jones, 
who had befriended him in a dark hour in his early career, the young John 
Paul took the name of Jones. (Consult Mrs. R. DeKoven's John Paul 

The second anecdote related above has been attributed to Mrs. Jones; 
but the Honorable William H. Bailey, in his "Provincial Reminiscences" 
{North Carolina University Magazine, 1890, n.s., x) states that the "family 
tradition in writing credits Mrs. Ashe therewith." 


Washington's Southern Tonr 

Tar are the exports from it. — We were reed, at this place by 
as good a salute as could be given by one piece of artillery. 1 

In his diary of April 19th, Washington records: 

At 6 o'clock I left Tarborough accompanied by some of the 
most respectable people of the place for a few miles — dined 
at a trifling place called Greenville 25 miles distant — and 
lodged at one Allan's 14 miles further a very indifferent 
house without stabling which for the first time since I 
commenced my Journey were obliged to stand without £ 

The name of the town of Martinborough, by an act in- 
corporating Pitt Academy there in 1786, was changed to 
"Greenesville" in honor of General Nathanael Greene. 
The "one Allan" to whom Washington here refers was 
Shadrack Allen, whose place was known as Crown Point. 2 
Here was located one of the earliest of Masonic Lodges es- 
tablished in North Carolina; in the records of a Quarterly 
Communication of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 
held at the Royal Exchange in Boston on October 24, 1766, 
it is referred to as the "First Lodge in Pitt County." 
During his stop at Allen's, he was doubtless visited by 

1 As early as 1758 seven merchants, one of whom was Edward Telfair, 
afterwards Governor of Georgia, were selling merchandise at the village, 
Tar Burrow. In 1760 trustees were appointed by the Legislature of North 
Carolina to lay off a town, known as Tarborough. It quickly became a 
center of trade. It is said that Washington was cordially entertained at 
the "beautiful residence overlooking Tar River" belonging at the time to 
Major Reading Blount. In his diary, entry for August 30, 1783, General 
Nathanael Greene records: "We dined at Mr. Blount's in Tarborough, a 
small village situated upon the banks of the river. Our reception was polite 
and entertainment agreeable." For a sketch of Reading Blount, consult 
Biographical History of North Carolina, 1. 

2 At this period Crown Point Inn, just south of Turkey Swamp, was a 
famous hostelry on the highway from Halifax via Greenville to New 


North Carolina 

some of the Masonic fraternity and congratulated upon 
the state of the country and his own achievements. 1 
Washington's diary of the 19th continues: 

Greenville is on Tar River and the exports the same as 
from Tarborough with a greater proportion of Tar — for the 
lower down the greater number of Tar makers are there — 
This article is contrary to all ideas one would entertain on the 
subject, rolled as Tobacco by an axis which goes through 
both heads — one horse draws two barrels in this manner. 

No doubt Washington heard the latest political news 
from Allen, who was prominent in the county; indeed he 
had represented it in the Convention at Hillsborough, 
November, 1789, which ratified the Constitution of the 
United States. 2 

The house at which Washington dined in Greenville, if 
tradition is to be relied upon, is still standing; it is pointed 
out to the curious visitor and the transient motorist who 
perhaps stops for a chicken and waffle dinner. "On the 
weatherboarding near the front door can yet be seen some 
marks, which are what time has left of President Wash- 

1 The members of the Masonic Lodge at Crown Point, June 24, 1767, 
were as follows: Thomas Cooper, Master, Peter Bliss, John Simpson, 
Richard Evans, James Hall, Thomas Hardy, James Hill, Richard Richard- 
son, William Pratt, George Miller, John Leslie, Nathaniel Bliss, Peter 
Richardson, James Glasgow, Robert Newell, Peter Johnson, William 
Brown, Bolen Hall, John Barber, William Kelly, Robert Bigwall, George 
Evans, Lenington Lockart, William McClennan, and Thomas Hall. (Cf. 
The Beginnings of Freemasonry in North Carolina and Tennessee, by 
Marshall De Lancey Haywood, Raleigh, N.C., 1906.) 

2 The patriotism of the people of Greenville is attested in the following 
resolution passed at a meeting, August 15, 1774: 

"Resolved, that as the Constitutional Assembly of this province are 
prevented from Exercising their Right of providing for the Security of the 
Liberties of the People, that Right again Reverts to the people as the foun- 
dation from whence all power and Legislation flow." 


Washington s Southern Tour 

ington's name, said to have been written by him on that 

occasion." 1 

In Greenville the tradition still survives that at Shad- 
rack Allen's or at his brother John's, farther on, Washing- 
ton met a young girl to whom he was at once greatly 
attracted. He is said to have taken her with him in his 
chariot to New Berne ; and to have escorted her with him 
to the dance at the Palace that night. This was probably 
the daughter of Colonel John Allen. 

On this day Washington broke his ironclad rule not to 
accept private hospitality, under any circumstances, on 
the tour. The situation arose through a misunderstanding; 
and Washington violated his oft-enunciated rule rather 
than offend the hospitable feelings of warm-hearted and 
unaffected admirers. "Left Allen's before breakfast," 
Washington records on Wednesday, 20th, " & under a mis- 
apprehension went to a Col Allan's, supposing it to be a 
public house; where we were very kindly & well enter- 
tained without knowing it was at his expence, until it was 
too late to rectify the mistake." 

Imagine the surprise of Colonel John Allen and fam- 
ily, bright and early on a Wednesday morning, to see a 
handsome coach with outriders turn into the yard (near 
Pitch Kettle in Craven County) and draw up at the door. 
Lord Erskine, famous English advocate, afterwards Lord 
Chancellor of England, once wrote to Washington this 
startling panegyric: "I have a large acquaintance among 

1 Cf. Sketches of Pitt County, by Henry T. King, Raleigh, 191 1. About 
the reliability of such tradition, there is always room for doubt; I.e., p. 101. 
This house is now occupied by Mrs. Henrietta Williams. 


North Carolina 

the most valuable and exalted class of men, but you are 
the only human being for whom I have felt an awful rever- 
ence." If so astute a judge of human species as Lord 
Erskine could address Washington in a tone of such im- 
pressive humility, then you may picture the excitement 
and flurry, amounting to consternation, of Mrs. Allen on 
learning that the majestic Washington wanted a little 
breakfast. Colonel Allen invited the guests in with simple 
and hearty hospitality; and Mrs. Allen summoned all the 
"cullud" help to assist her in preparing the breakfast. In 
an hour or so, the meal was ready, the bell was rung, and 
all filed out to the plain dining-room, where stood a board 
literally groaning with the very best the country could 
afford. On the table were a young pig, a turkey, fried 
chicken, country ham, sausages, eggs in every style, 
waffles, batter-cakes, and hot soda biscuits. Washington 
looked over the whole table, and ordered — one hard- 
boiled egg and a cup of coffee with a little rum in it ! The 
others, however, fell to with a will and showed their appre- 
ciation of Mrs. Allen's repast by the havoc which they 

When Washington asked the proprietor of what was 
afterward known as the "Cat Tail Plantation" for his bill. 
Colonel Allen explosively responded : " Bill ! Why, you can 
never make a bill at my house for anything I can do for 
you." Washington, who until now had thought "Allen's" 
a place of public entertainment, yielded gracefully in face of 
the vehement sincerity of Allen, and cordially thanked his 
host and hostess for their homely and bountiful hospitality. 

Washington* s Southern Tour 

In after years Mrs. Allen was frequently twitted on the 
subject of the President's frugal repast — but, being a 
"good sport," she took the teasing good-naturedly, and 
invariably declared: "Well, there was glory enough any- 
way in having General Washington as my guest!" ! 

Having long since been apprized by his brother, the 
famous William Blount, of Washington's intended tour of 
the Southern States, General Thomas Blount 2 was eager 
to show every civility to the President. The following 
letter explains itself: 

Tarborough, i~]th April, 1791. 
Gen. Samuel Simpson 
Ft. Barnwell. 
Dear Sir: — By a letter this evening received from Col. 
Ashe, I am informed that the President of the United States 
arrived last night at Halifax and the inference is that he will 
pass through this Town: but on that head my informant is al- 
together silent. I give you this information at the request of 

1 Colonel John Allen's plantation was on the north side of the Neuse 
River, about twenty miles from New Berne, and ten miles above Street's 
Ferry, where Washington was met by a delegation from New Berne. 
Compare " George Washington's Visit to New Berne and Vicinity," in The 
Journal (New Berne), May 1, 1891. 

2 Thomas Blount, fourth son of Colonel Jacob Blount, of Blount Hall, 
Craven County, and his wife Barbara Gray, was born 1759. He died in 
1823, and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C. 
Served as ensign in the Revolution; was taken prisoner and sent to England. 
Represented Edgecombe County in State Assembly, 1792, 1798, 1799. 
Member of Congress, from Edgecombe District, 1803, 1809-11, 1821-23. 
Married, first, Martha Baker, of South Quay, Virginia; had one son, died 
in infancy; married, second, Mary Jacqueline Sumner, daughter of Gen- 
eral Jethro Sumner, no children. One of the Commissioners to fix the 
State capital at Wake Court House, now Raleigh; and there a principal 
street, " Blount Street," is named for him. His residence in Tarborough 
was one of the show places of its day. His wife, Mary Sumner, enjoyed 
society and they entertained with generous hospitality. She survived him 
and made large bequests to Christ Church, Raleigh, and to Calvary 
Church, Tarborough, where she is buried. 


North Carolina 

Major Gerrard who is gone to Hillsborough, and expects you 
will repair to this place with your Troop of Horse to escort 
his Excellency through Pitt County. 

If he should come this way, it is probable he will reach here 
on Tuesday night at the farthest. If you cannot bring your 
whole Troop it is my opinion that it will be proper to come 
by that time with as many as can be ready. 

Yours sincerely 

Thomas Blount. 1 

In his account of Edgecombe County, Jeremiah Battle 
says: "Adjacent to the Town [of Tarborough] is the 
county seat of General Tfhomas] Blount, where he has 
lately built a very good house, the best that is in the 
county. This is a beautiful eminence overlooking the 
town. An extensive grove surrounds the house; back of 
which is a tract of 20 or 30 acres of rich swamp, well 
ditched and drained ; and is in a high state of cultivation." 2 

Colonel John Allen accompanied Washington from 
Greenville to New Berne, as did also the Pitt Light Horse 
under the command of Captain Samuel Simpson, who 
waited upon the President as instructed by General 
Blount. Evidently Washington was as shy of dust as ever, 

1 This letter was the property of Mrs. Henry R. Bryan, of New Berne, 
North Carolina, a descendant of General Simpson; and this copy was sup- 
plied me, as was also the portrait of General Thomas Blount, by Miss Lida 
T. Rodman, of Washington, North Carolina, a descendant of the Blounts. 
The original is preserved in the Hall of History, Raleigh, North Carolina. 
General Samuel Simpson, the son of Colonel John Simpson of Pitt 
County, North Carolina, the Revolutionary patriot, was a member of 
the Convention at Fayetteville, North Carolina, November, 1789, which 
adopted the Federal Constitution. He is referred to by William Blount 
in a letter already printed in full (Chapter I.) 

2 From Thomas Henderson s Letter-Book, in archives of North Carolina 
Historical Commission, Raleigh, North Carolina. Battle's account bears 
the date June, 181 2. 


TVashingtoii* s Southern Tour 

for in his diary he records: "Another small party of horse 
under one Simpson met us at Greensville, and in spite of 
every endeavor which could comport with decent civility, 
to excuse myself from it, they would attend me to New- 
bern." At one o'clock on the 20th, the cavalcade was met 
at the landing of West's Ferry on the Neuse River by a 
number of "the most respectable inhabitants" of New 
Berne and by the Craven Light Horse under the com- 
mand of Captain Williams. This delegation of the "prin- 
cipal Inhabitants of Newbern," as Washington describes 
them, was headed by John Sitgreaves, who had recently 
been appointed by Washington United States District 
Judge. This distinguished man, who served during the 
Revolution and at one time was aide-de-camp to General 
Richard Caswell, afterwards Governor of North Carolina, 
had been Speaker of the North Carolina House of Com- 
mons and a member of the Continental Congress, and 
actively favored the ratification of the Constitution when 
it was rejected by the Convention which met at Hills- 
borough, North Carolina, July 21, 1788. l 
The delegation from New Berne, which consisted of 

1 John Sitgreaves, born in New Berne, North Carolina, about 1740. 
Studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in his native 
town. In the Revolution, was appointed a lieutenant in 1776, and at- 
tained the rank of major-general. Represented New Berne in the North 
Carolina Assembly, 1786-89. Member of the Continental Congress, 1784- 
85. "He was a clever gentleman," says G. J. McRee, "and esteemed a 
good lawyer." His wife was a sister of the wife of General William Richard- 
son Davie. He served as United States District Attorney for North Car- 
olina from 1789 until his death. Upon his tombstone in Halifax is the in- 
scription: "Beneath this stone rest the remains of the Hon. ble John Sit- 
greaves, Judge &c. After spending a lite of honor and integrity in the service 
of his country he ended his days on the 4th of March 1802." 


North Carolina 

John Sitgreaves, James Coor, Samuel Chapman, Isaac 
Guion, Joseph Leech, Ben Williams, Dan Carthy, and 
William McClure, 1 received the President at the ferry 

1 James Coor, Representative of Craven County in the North Carolina 
House of Commons, 1773 (January), 1773-74, 1775; State Senator, 1777- 
87; Speaker, 1786; Member of the Council of State, December 20, 1776, 
(December 18) 1792, (January 20) 1795. Member of the House of Com- 
mons from New Berne, 1791. Member of the Council of Safety for New 
Berne, May, 1776; Commissioner in various capacities: Port of Beaufort 
(1781), on depreciation of currency, on printing of State certificates (1781), 
Port of New Berne (1776), for completing fortifications on Neuse River. 
Member Provincial Congress from Craven County, April, 1775, August, 
1775, April, 1776, November, 1776. Member of the Provincial Council for 
New Berne District, September 10, 1775; Member of the Council of Safety 
for New Berne District, May II, 1776. 

Samuel Chapman, a prominent citizen of New Berne. Commissioned 
lieutenant (November 28, 1776) in the Eighth Regiment, North Carolina 
Continental Line. Received the rank of captain, Fourth Regiment, North 
Carolina Line (commission dated April 5, 1779). In 1782 he was established 
in New Berne as a merchant. 

Isaac Guion, member of the North Carolina House of Commons from 
New Berne, 1789, 1790, 1793, 1795; borough member from New Berne in 
the Convention of 1788. Member of the North Carolina Council of State, 
(1779, 1780). 

Joseph Leech, borough member from New Berne in the General Assem- 
bly, 1760, 1 76 1, 1762 (April); Representative for Craven County, 1762 
(November); Representative for Craven County in the State Convention 
of 1788; member of the Council of State, December 20, 1776; April 18, 
1778; May 3, 1779; 1780; December 10, 1785; December 18, 1786. 

Benjamin Williams, son of John Williams and Ferebee Pugh, was born in 
North Carolina, January 1, 1752. Pursued classical studies. In 1774 
served as a delegate from Johnston County in the first North Carolina 
Provincial Congress. Also represented Johnston County in the Provincial 
Congress at Hillsborough, August, 1775. Elected (September 9, 1775) 
member of the Committee of Safety for the district of New Berne. Elected 
by the Provincial Congress (September 1, 1775) lieutenant in the Second 
North Carolina Regiment; and on July 19, 1776, was promoted to the rank 
of captain. Served under Washington, and in campaigns against Lord 
Dunmore and Sir Henry Clinton. On July 12, 178 1, was elected by the 
North Carolina Assembly colonel commandant of North Carolina troops. 
Resigning from commission as captain of Continentals, January 1, 1779, he 
represented Craven County that year in the North Carolina House of 
Commons; and years later (1788) represented the same county in the 
House of Commons. He represented Johnston County in the House in 


Washington's Southern Tour 

landing with the utmost cordiality and respect. The 
Mayor of the Corporation of New Berne, Joseph Leech, 
thereupon read to the President the following "Address 
of the inhabitants of New-Berne": 


With hearts impressed with the most lively emotions of 
Love, Esteem and Veneration, We meet you at this time to 
express the joy We feel in your visit to the State of North 

We Sympathize with you in those delightful sensations, 
which you now so fully experience when We reflect with you 
on our past difficulties and dangers during a long and arduous 
War, and contrast these with the bright, the glorious pros- 
pects which present themselves — of our beloved Country's 
enjoying in perfect peace, the inestimable blessings of Civil 
and Religious Liberty. Our Souls overflow with gratitude to 
the bountiful Dispenser of all good Gifts, that He has com- 
mitted to your hands the reins of Government in that Coun- 

1785 and 1789; in the Senate in 1780, 1781, 1784 (April and October), and 
1786. He represented Moore County in the House of Commons in 1807 
and 1809. Was elected to the Third Congress (March 4, 1793, to March 3, 
1795). He was four times Governor of North Carolina — from November 
24, 1799, until December 6, 1802; and from November 24, 1807, until 
December 12, 1808. He was married on August io, 1781, to Elizabeth 
Jones, half sister of the distinguished Revolutionary patriots Willie and 
Allen Jones. He died in Moore County, North Carolina, July 20, 1814. 

Daniel Carthy, member of the North Carolina House of Commons from 
New Berne, 1794, 1810, 181 1. Agent of Messrs. Royal Flint & Co., mer- 
chants, of New York, through whom thousands of pounds of "Public 
Tobacco" were sold by the State. Member of the North Carolina Council 
of State (elected November 28, 1795). 

William McClure, chirurgeon to the Sixth Regiment, North Carolina 
Provincial troops (April 17, 1776); surgeon to the Second Regiment, May I, 
1776, continuing in service until the end of the Revolution. Captured by 
the British at Charleston, South Carolina, May 12, 1780. Member of the 
North Carolina Council of State (December 10) 1785, (December 18) 1792, 
(December 19) 1793. Trustee and Director of the New Berne Academy 
(1784); Commissioner on Pension Claims (1785). Invented a new type of 
boat "calculated to improve inland navigation." Member of the State 
Senate from Craven County, 1795, 1796, 1797. 


North Carolina 

try during peace, of which you have been so lately the defence 
against the Arm of Despotism and Arbitrary Sway. — 

May Almighty God prolong that Life, which has been so 
eminently useful to the Human Race, for it is not America 
Alone — but the World shall learn from your example to what a 
stupendous height of Glory, a Nation may be elevated — whose 
freeborn souls are fired with a sincere love of Liberty. — 

It is our most earnest Prayer to the throne of Heavenly 
Grace that the divine Benediction may accompany you here 
and hereafter. 

Because of the culture of its inhabitants, New Berne 

was known as the "Athens of North Carolina." It was 

beautifully situated upon the River Trent, memorialized 

in the lines 

Regretful waves, well may you weep and sigh 
For this bright Eden as you pass it by, 
For wander where you may, you ne'er will kiss 
A shore so bright, so beautiful as this. 

In his diary (April 20th) Washington records: "This 
town is situated at the confluence of the Rivers Neuse & 
Trent, and though low is pleasant. Vessels drawing more 
than 9 feet water cannot get up loaded. — It stands on a 
good deal of ground, but the buildings are sparce and al- 
together of Wood ; — some of which are large & look 
well — The number of Souls are about 2000. — Its ex- 
ports consist of Corn, Tobacco, Pork, — but principally of 
Naval Stores & Lumber." 1 

1 In his Travels the Due de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt records: "New- 
bern is situated near the confluence of the river Nuse with the Trent, at 
a distance of one hundred miles from the sea. Vessels from one hundred and 
eighty to two hundred tons burden, sail twelve miles above Newbern, and 
smaller vessels proceed a hundred miles father up the river. The exports of 
Newbern were estimated in 1795, at seventy-three thousand six hundred 
and fifty-two dollars." 


Washington's Southern Tour 

At the entrance of the town the cavalcade was met by 
the New Berne Volunteers under the command of Captain 
Edward Pasteur; and upon alighting at the house des- 
ignated for his entertainment, the President was saluted by 
a discharge of fifteen guns from Captain Stephen Tinker's 
company of artillery, and fifteen volleys and a "feu dejoye " 
from the volunteers. Washington described as "exceed- 
ingly good lodgings" the famous John Stanly mansion. 
At the time of Washington's visit the owner was John G. 
Stanly, who is said to have made a princely gift of #50,000 
or more, to General Nathanael Greene for securing sup- 
plies and paying the Continental forces under his com- 
mand. 1 John Stanly, son of John G. Stanly, was but a 
lad at the time of Washington's visit; he was afterwards 
famous in North Carolina as legislator and advocate; and 
is thus described by Stephen Miller: "John Stanly was 
foremost (among the lawyers of Newbern) in age and nat- 
ural gifts. His voice was strong, clear and musical, and his 
manner peculiarly graceful and dignified. In repartee and 
sarcasm I never saw his equal. His efforts in that line were 
absolutely withering. The composure of no suitor, witness 
or rival advocate could survive his pungent criticism. Ever 
bold and fearless, he at once rose to the breadth of the oc- 
casion, always wielding a polished scimiter with the energy 
of a giant and the skill of an artist." 2 

Writing in 1894, Charles Hallock says of the John 

1 There is reason to believe the story true in general outline. Stanly 
probably loaned General Greene a large sum of money when the latter 
was in grave financial difficulties. 

2 Recollections of New Bern Fifty Years Ago. 


jHt 11(1 

UailfERSITY OFIilifc^ 

North Carolina 

Stanly house: "This building ... is in excellent repair, 
with broad concrete walks and ornamental grounds stocked 
with exotics and semi-tropical plants and fruit trees, the 
blooms of honeysuckle, cape jessamins, and roses mingling 
with figs, pomegranates and magnolias. The mansion is of 
wood but, although much over a century old, remains one 
of the chief architectural ornaments of the town, with its 
imposing square front and its interior decorations rich with 
mouldings and wainscoting." l On the wall of the dining- 
room in this house now hangs a portrait of one said to be 
a cousin of George Washington, John Washington, the 
maternal grandfather of the but lately deceased occupant 
and owner of the house, James A. Bryan, Esq. It is said 
that Washington was delighted with his entertainment, 
and had only one complaint to make: that he had been 
given no griddle-cakes during his stay in New Berne ! That 
evening Washington devoted to rest ; but the people cele- 
brated the occasion by having the town "elegantly illu- 

During the forenoon of the next day, the President 
walked about the town, accompanied it is believed by 
Richard Dobbs Spaight, 2 John Sitgreaves, Francois-Xav- 

1 " President Washington in Newbern," in The Southern States, May, 

2 Richard Dobbs Spaight, born New Berne, North Carolina, March 25, 
1758; died there September 6, 1802. Was educated at the University of 
Glasgow. For a time served as aide-de-camp to General Richard Caswell 
during the Revolution. Was in the North Carolina Assembly in 1781, 
1782, 1783, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1792, 1801. Was appointed by Governor 
Alexander Martin delegate to the Continental Congress in place of William 
Blount, who resigned April 25, 1783. Elected delegate to Continental Con- 
gress in 1784; and reelected for year beginning November, 1785. Delegate 
to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, and signed the Constitution. 


Washington's Southern Ton?" 

ier Martin, 1 Joseph Leech, Isaac Guion, Samuel Chap- 
man, and perhaps others, viewing the many beauties of 
the place, hearing the story of Governor William Tryon's 
extravagance in the erection of the Palace, which helped 
precipitate the War of the Regulators, and perhaps — 
who knows ? — listening to fanciful tales of the fascinating 
Esther Wake, who some now say was only a mythical 
miss! At four o'clock that afternoon he dined with the 
citizens at a public dinner at the Palace — which Wash- 
ington describes as "the Government House and a good 
brick building but now hastening to Ruins." It was pro- 
nounced "superior to anything of the kind in British 
North America" by the historian, F. X. Martin, who said 
that the unfortunate Don Francisco Miranda, when visit- 
ing it in his company, declared it had no equal in South 
America. A pediment at the front bore the arms of Great 
Britain ; and the rear of the building was finished in the 
style of the Mansion-House in London. Over the inner 
door of the entrance hall or antechamber, was a tablet 
with a Latin inscription, showing that the Palace was dedi- 
cated to Sir William Draper, "the conqueror of Manilla," 
and also some verses in Latin of which F. X. Martin gives 
the following free translation: 

In the reign of a monarch, who goodness disclos'd, 
A free happy people, to dread tyrants oppos'd, 

Elected Governor of North Carolina in 1792; and served in Congress 
1798-1801. Killed in a duel with John Stanly on September 5, 1802. 

1 For a sketch of Martin consult Biographical History of North Carolina, 
IV. The contemporary accounts do not confirm the statement therein 
made that he was a member of" the committee to receive General Wash- 
ington on his visit in 1791 ." 


North Carolina 

Have, to virtue and merit, erected this dome; 
May the owner and household make this the loved home, 
Where religion, the arts and the laws may invite 
Future ages to live in sweet peace and delight. 1 

Although externally much out of repair, it was peculiarly 
fitted by historic association and original elegance to en- 
tertain the great Washington. The following toasts were 
drunk — with a will, and doubtless with true gustatory ap- 
preciation — each toast being announced by a discharge of 
cannon : 

1. The United States. 

2. The late Congress. 

3. The State of North Carolina — given by the President 
and greeted with stentorian cheers. 

4. The Patriots of America who fell in her defence. 

5. The late American army. 

6. The King of France. 

7. The National Assembly. 

8. The memory of Dr. Franklin. 

9. The Sieur de la Fayette. 

10. The commerce of the United States. 

11. The friends of America in every part of the world. 
11. The agricultural interests of the United States. 

13. The Nations in alliance with us. 

14. Universal peace and liberty. 

After the President had withdrawn, the fifteenth and 
final toast of the evening was drunk with all the company 

The President of the United States 2 
Probably at this juncture the President's aide, Major 

1 For a full description of the Palace, consult B. J. Lossing: Pictorial 
Field Book of the Revolution, vol. 22, p. 364, second edition. 

2 A printed programme of the occasion, containing these toasts, was long 
in the possession of Mrs. Henry R. Bryan, of New Berne. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Jackson, read to the assembled company, who certainly 
received its sentiments with expressions of undisguised 
satisfaction, Washington's fervent reply to the address 
which had been delivered to him at West's Ferry on the 
preceding day: 

To the Inhabitants of the Town of New Bern. 

I express with real pleasure the grateful sentiments which 
your address inspires. I am much indebted, in ever personal 
regard, to the polite attentions of the inhabitants of New 
Bern, nor am I less gratified by the patriotic declarations 
on the situation of our common country. Pleasing indeed is 
the comparison which a retrospect of the past scenes affords 
with our present happy condition — and equally so is the 
anticipation of what we may still attain, and long continue 
to enjoy. A bountiful Providence has blest us with all the 
means of national and domestic happiness; to our own virtue 
and wisdom we are referred for their improvement and re- 

That the town of New Bern may eminently participate in 
the general prosperity, and its inhabitants be individually 
happy, is my sincere wish. 

G. Washington. 1 

At New Berne was one of the most active Masonic 
Lodges in North Carolina, St. John's No. 2. It was 
founded by a distinguished citizen of Rhode Island, who 
had emigrated to the colony and established himself on his 
country estate, "Richmond," near New Berne — Martin 
Howard, North Carolina's first Chief Justice. This lodge 

1 To John G. Stanly, Esq., at whose house Washington was entertained, 
he presented the original of this letter. It was printed in a New Berne 
newspaper edited by the Honorable C. C. Clark prior to the War between 
the States. It is found in Vass: The Presbyterian Church in Newbern, 
North Carolina. 


Engraving by A. B. Walter 




North Carolina 

was instituted on January n, 1772, the charter being pre- 
sented by Joseph Montfort, of Halifax, North Carolina 
"provincial Grand Master of and for America." Some of 
the earlier meetings of St. John's Lodge were held in the 
Palace. 1 This lodge afterwards built a two-storey theatre 
and Masonic Hall. When news of Washington's contem- 
plated visit reached New Berne, the brethren of St. John's 
Lodge, No. 2, at the stated meeting held on April 1, 1791, 
passed the following resolution : " Resolved, that an address 
shall be presented to Brother George Washington, in 
behalf of this Lodge, on his arriving in this town." 2 

During the afternoon of April 20th, after the President 
had returned to his lodgings, he was waited upon by a 
committee from St. John's Lodge, No. 2, headed by the 
Master, Isaac Guion, who read to him the following ad- 

To the President of the United States of America. 
Right Worshipful Sir, 

We the Master, Officers, and Members of St. John's Lodge 
No. 2, of Newbern, beg leave to hail you welcome with three 
times three. 

We approach you not with the language of adulation, but 
sincere fraternal affection — your works having proved you 
to be the true and faithful brother, the skilful and expert 
Craftsman, the just and upright man. But the powers of 

1 In his Beginnings of Freemasonry in North Carolina and Tennessee, 
Haywood says: "Among the many crimes charged against the dark, dan- 
gerous and unscrupulous Masons of those old days, was the burning of this 
building in 1798, when they learned that the State intended to sell it; 
though, as a matter of fact, the conflagration was caused by an old negro 
woman with a lightwood torch hunting for eggs among the rubbish in the 

2 Minutes of St. John's Lodge, No. 2, still preserved at New Berne. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

eloquence are too feeble to express with sufficient energy 
the cordial warmth with which our bosoms glow toward 

We therefore most ardently wish, most fervently and 
devoutly pray That the Providence of the most high may 
strengthen, establish, and protect you, in your walk through 
this life; and when you shall be called off from your terrestrial 
labours by command of our divine grand master, and your 
operations sealed with the mark of his approbation, may 
your soul be eternally refreshed with the streams of living 
water which flow at the right hand of God, and when the 
supreme architect of all worlds shall collect his most precious 
jewels as ornaments of the celestial Jerusalem, may you ever- 
lastingly shine among those of the brightest lustre. 

We are in our own behalf, and that of the Members of this 

Right Worshipful Sir, 

Your true and faithful brethren 
Isaac Guion Master 
Samuel Chapman Senior Warden 
William Johnston Junior Warden 
Solomon Halling, 
Edw. Pasteur, 
Jas. Carney, 
F. Lowthorp 

Members of the Committee. 1 
St. John's Lodge No 2. 
April 20th, 5791 

The President made the following reply to the breth- 
ren of St. John's Lodge : 

1 Isaac Guion, Samuel Chapman, William Johnston, and Solomon 
Hailing had all seen service in the Continental Army during the Revolu- 
tionary War. Guion served as Surgeon and Paymaster; Chapman, Captain 
in the 8th North Carolina, served until the close of the war; Johnston, 
Captain in the North Carolina Militia, fought at King's Mountain; Hall- 
ing, Surgeon of the 4th North Carolina Regiment, served until the close of 
the war. 


North Caroli?ia 

To the Master, Wardens, and Members of St. John's Lodge 

No. 2 of Newbern. 

I receive the cordial welcome which you are pleased to 
give me with sincere gratitude. 

My best ambition having ever aimed at the unbiassed 
approbation of my fellow-citizens, it is peculiarly pleasing to 
find my conduct so affectionately approved by a fraternity 
whose association is founded in justice and benevolence. 

In reciprocating the wishes contained in your address, be 
persuaded that I offer a sincere prayer for your present and 
future happiness. 

G. Washington.! 

That evening (21st) Washington attended a magnificent 
ball given in his honor at the Palace. 2 The dancing doubt- 

1 "At the following Meeting of St. John's Lodge, No. 2, April 27, 1791, 
the Master laid before the Lodge the answer of Brother George Washington 
and ordered that it be read, which being done, Resolved that it be entered on 
Minutes of this Lodge." The above entry stands on the original Minutes. 
Both the address to Washington and his reply are recorded on the Minutes 
of the Lodge. The original of Washington's reply cannot now be found — 
and probably disappeared during the War between the States. Consult 
Washington's Masonic Correspondence ; by J. F. Sachse (Philadelphia, 191 5). 

On January 18, 1922, was held at New Berne the one hundred and fif- 
tieth anniversary of the founding of St. John's Lodge No. 2. Elaborate 
ceremonies were carried out including a pageant in which the reading of 
Guion's address and Washington's reply constituted the chief feature. 
The part of Isaac Guion was taken by his great-grandson, Judge Owen H. 
Guion; that of Washington by Colonel P. M. Pearsall; and that of the 
Mayor, Joseph Leech, by the late Samuel M. Brinson, Member of Con- 
gress. (See the Charlotte Observer, January 19, 1922.) 

2 On April 24, 1891, the original occasion was reproduced at a centennial 
ball in New Berne — "the invitation cards and others of dancing being in 
facsimile, and even some of the identical dresses being worn which appeared 
in the previous century. General Washington and Lady Washington were 
personated by Mr. W. P. M. Bryan and Miss Mary T. Oliver, and sixteen 
leading citizens represented the republican court. The ceremonies took 
place in the spacious hall of the new courthouse, which was tastefully 
decorated with flowers, flags, and evergreens. After a few appropriate 
introductory remarks from Mayor (Genl.) Battle, the ladies and gentlemen 
of the court, in costumes of 'ye olden times,' were ushered into the room 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

less took place in the Council Chamber which contained 
handsome decorations, the chimney-piece being orna- 
mented by Ionic columns below, four columns with com- 
posite capitals above, with beautiful entablature, archi- 
trave, and frieze. Above the whole were richly ornamental 
marble tablets, on which were medallions of King George 
and his Queen. White marble was freely used in the dec- 
oration of the Council Chamber, dining hall, and drawing- 
room. 1 Some sixteen thousand five hundred pounds was 
expended upon the building; and the passage of the bill for 
the erection of the Governor's Palace in 1766 has been at- 
tributed to the influence with the members of the Colonial 
Assembly of the beautiful and fascinating Esther Wake, 
Governor Tryon's sister-in-law. The author of "The De- 
fense of North Carolina" therein first tells this strange 
story, which appears to be confirmed by a manuscript re- 
cently discovered, in which Jones says of Esther Wake: 
"She was ambitious enough to desire magnificent parlours 
and boudoirs, wherein to receive the homage of her numer- 

and took positions on either side of the dais, General and Lady Washing- 
ton followed and took places on the platform, the latter in magnificent 
attire. Under strains of sweet music from the Italian band the courtiers 
formally presented themselves and were received in the most dignified and 
courtly manner after the approved regime. Then the court minuet was 
danced by ten couples of the city's elite. The 'Star Spangled Banner* and 
'The Old North State' were sung by thirty trained voices; a solo followed, 
and then a flower dance by young ladies in fairy costumes, each bearing a 
colored lantern and a basket of flowers. Supper ensued; and the novel 
affair concluded with the 'Old Virginia Reel' in which nearly everyone 
present participated. The occasion was most enjoyable and the renaissance 
instructive and impressive." (From "President Washington in Newbern," 
by Charles Hallock, The Southern States, May, 1894.) 

1 Cf. M. de L. Haywood: Governor William Try on (Raleigh, 1903); B. J. 
Lossing: Pictorial Field Book 0/ the American Revolution; Colonial Records 
of North Carolina, vm, 7-8. 













North Carolina 

ous admirers. . . . The heavy taxes levied to complete the 
edifice [the Palace] contributed to inflame the rebellion of 
the Regulators, and was more than any other cause the 
immediate inducement of the famous battle of Alamance 
on the 16th of May, 1771. ... It is gratifying to discover 
the secret source of power, even in the volition of a virtu- 
ous woman." And he makes the following quotations 
from two alleged letters — the one by Colonel John Harvey 
(January 20, 1771) : "What can be said in defense of those 
Gentlemen of age and experience who to gratify a Gov- 
ernor's wife and to be sure her pretty sister should vote 
fifteen or twenty thousand pounds to build a palace, when 
the people were not able to pay even their most ordinary 
taxes, and what is still worse, then go to war with their 
countrymen, to enforce the unjust law"; the other from 
Isaac Edwards, the private Secretary of Tryon, to Judge 
John Williams (November 6, 1770): "The Palace is fin- 
ished, and we are in it. The Governor is much pleased with 
it and the ladies are now ready to give entertainments in a 
state suitable to their rank and deserts. Miss Wake is in 
fine humour and is every day planning her party. She has 
a complete set of new and splendid robes just from home, 
and when she gets them on, and gets the young assembly- 
men in the big parlor, she can get a grant of money to 
build another house for herself." 1 At the brilliant recep- 

1 Manuscript enclosed in a letter from Joseph Seawell Jones to William 
A. Graham, New Berne, February 28, 1836 — now in the archives of the 
North Carolina Historical Commission. Little faith is reposed in the 
statements of Jones by some historians — Haywood, for example, contend- 
ing that this "rare and radiant maiden," Esther Wake, was none other 


Washington's Southern Tour 

tion to Washington, conversation doubtless turned to the 
famous balls given there by Governor Tryon and his wife, 
in this "palace worthy the residence of a prince of the 
blood." The Governor's assumption of royal style, against 
which "Atticus," who was reputed to be Judge Maurice 
Moore, turned the full volume of his attack, brought 
against Tryon this charge: "Your solicitude about the 
title of Her Excellency for Mrs. Tryon and the arrogant re- 
ception you gave to a respectable company at an enter- 
tainment of your own making, seated with your lady by 
your side on elbow-chairs in the middle of the ball-room, 
bespeak a littleness of mind which, believe me, Sir, when 
blended with the dignity and importance of your office, 
render you truly ridiculous." x What changes had been 
wrought in human affairs since the scene thus described, in 
that same ballroom! How solemnly must Washington 
have reflected upon the mutations of destiny under which 
the aristocratic Tryon, the Royal Governor, had been 
driven from this very Palace and where now the highest 
honors were being paid to that man, "arch rebel and 
traitor" to his King, who had driven the forces of that 
monarch to humiliating defeat and disgraceful surrender! 
In Tryon's office in the Palace were now stabled the horses 
of Washington ! 

than a "creature of fancy, brought forth from the realms of Fairyland by 
the pen of a sentimental writer." 

For references consult Haywood's Tryon, pp. 74-76; Lossing's Field 
Book of the Revolution; Connor's "Was Esther Wake a Myth?" in North 
Carolina Booklet, xiv, 4. 

1 For the "Atticus" letter, consult Waddell: A Colonial Officer and his 
Times (Raleigh, 1890). 


North Carolina 

In the spacious Council Chamber of the Royal Gover- 
nor's Palace, Washington himself was the central, majestic 
figure. Clad in black velvet with gold buckles at the knee 
and on his shoes, he held in his hand a cocked hat with a 
cockade in it, the edges adorned with a black feather. His 
hair, profusely powdered, was gathered behind in a black 
silk bag. At his left hip hung a long, slender sword, with 
finely wrought steel hilt, in a scabbard of white polished 
leather. He wore yellow gloves; and, contrary to his habit 
at his own receptions, he graciously greeted with a clasp of 
the hand those who were presented to him. 

Prominent on this occasion was Richard Dobbs Spaight, 1 
who had been present in the Continental Congress at An- 
napolis on December 13, 1783, when General Washington 
tendered his resignation as Commander-in-Chief; and had 
also attended as delegate the Convention at Philadelphia, 
May 14, 1787, and affixed his signature to the Constitu- 
tion. On the year following Washington's visit to New 
Berne, he was elected Governor of North Carolina. At the 
reception, Mrs. Spaight assisted the President in receiving 
the guests, and danced the first minuet with the stately 
Virginian. Some verses may summon for us the scene: 

Hail to the chief! 'Gainst armed foes 
No more shall serried ranks advance: 

In 'broidered doublet, silken hose, 
Our Washington doth lead the dance. 

1 Some years later Spaight and the younger John Stanly fought a duel 
in which the former was mortally wounded. Consult John H. Wheeler: 
History of North Carolina; also Reminiscences. Consult also Wheeler: 
Richard Dobbs Spaight. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

The oaths are said, the seals are set, 
The bugle's song is tuned to mirth; 

Grave Valor hath with Beauty met 
To celebrate a nation's birth. 

"What homage shall a subject pay, 

What can a loyal heart afford, 
To him whom millions name to-day 

Their Country's Father and their lord?" 
Still stepping as the music leads, 

The stately Washington replies, 
"The guerdon of man's bravest deeds 

Is ever found in woman's eyes." 

The lady's answering smile is bright. 

The dance goes on. How fair the scene! 
Earth scarce hath known a happier night, 

For day hath never dawned, I ween, 
That left such blessings in its track. 

How well we love through fancy's power 
To bring the glittering pageant back 

To us in this centennial hour! l 

We may be sure that Washington also danced with the 
young lady who had accompanied him to New Berne, es- 
pecially to attend the grand ball. According to Washington 
"abt. 70 ladies were present" ; and if he paid full tribute to 
the goddess Terpsichore, he was more sorely taxed than on 
many a battle-field — although it is of record that he with- 
drew at eleven o'clock, while the festivities were at their 
very height. 

Before retiring that night, Washington made the follow- 
ing entry in his diary: 

1 From "Washington Leading the Minuet," by Mary E. Vandyne. 


North Carolina 

This town by Water is about 70 miles from the Sea — but 
in a direct line to the entrance of the River not over 35 — 
and to the nearest Seaboard not more than 20, or 25. — 
Upon the River Neuse, & 80 miles above Newbern, the Con- 
vention of the State that adopted the federal Constitution 
made choice of a spot, or rather district within which to fix 
their Seat of Government; but it being lower than the back 
Members (of the Assembly) who hitherto have been most 
numerous inclined to have it they have found means to ob- 
struct the measure — but since the Cession of their Western 
territory it is supposed that the matter will be revived to good 

On Friday, 22d, the President recommenced his journey 
— being escorted by the Craven Light Horse and "many 
of the principal Gentlemen of Newbern" for some miles 
from the town. His departure was signalized by a dis- 
charge of guns, doubtless by Captain Stephen Tinker's 
company of artillery. Washington records that he "dined 
at a place called Trenton which is the head of the boat nav- 
igation of the River Trent, which is crossed at this place on 
a bridge — and lodged at one Shrine's 10 m. farther — 
both indifferent Houses." At Trenton he was cordially 
greeted by his Masonic brethren of King Solomon's Lodge, 
who presented to him the following address: 

To the President of the United States of America 

Impressed with the purest Sentiments of Gratitude & 
Brotherly love, Permit us the Members of King Solomons 
Lodge at Trenton North Carolina (now in Lodge Assembled) 
to Hail you Welcome to this State, & Salute you as a Brother 

We should feel ourselves remiss in our Duty were we not to 
Congratulate you on your Appointment to the Head of the 
Executive department of the United States — 


Washington* 's Southern Tour 

That the Great Architect of the Universe may long pre- 
serve your invaluable life to preside over a great & free 
People & to the Advancement of the United States in Op- 
ulence, order & Felicity, is the sincere wish of the Members 
of this Lodge — 

By Order of the Lodge 

Wm. T. Gardner Secy. 1 
April 22d AL 5791 

Quite the most meagre entry for any day of his tour is 
that for Saturday, 23d. How Washington must have en- 
joyed the rest — the refuge from incessant congratulation, 
from the necessity for playing up to a great and solemn 
part, from the dust of enthusiastic and persistent escorts! 
On a day like this, he probably carefully read the des- 
patches from the seat of government which reached him 
at stages of his journey and pondered over weighty matters 
of governmental policy. Yet even in so dry and meaning- 
less an entry, one with imagination can fancy the thrill of 
excitement and the sense of importance which agitated the 
minds and hearts of the families of "one Everet," "Mr. 
Foy," and "one Sage." The exiguous entry for the 23d is 
only this: 

Breakfasted at one Everets 12 miles bated at a Mr. Foy's 
12 miles farther and lodged at one Sage's 20 miles beyd. 
it — all indifferent Houses. 

1 See Washington MSS., Letter Books, in Library of Congress. 


Wilmington, North Carolina, and Georgetown, South Carolina 

THE Southern tour took place long before the birth 
of the Associated Press. But the newspapers of 
America in 1791 eagerly copied from each other long and 
elaborate accounts of the ceremonies accompanying Wash- 
ington's spectacular passage at every stage of the journey. 
Essays on the character of Washington and poems written 
in honor of his arrival at some particular city reached a 
truly national audience. Particularly popular was the 
poem entitled "An Imitation" — being composed "On 
the Reception of the President at the several Towns and 
Villages, &c. in his Tour to the South." 

All tongues speak of him; aged sights 
Are spectacled to see him; the prattling nurse 
Into a rapture lets her baby cry, 
While she views him; the rustic lasses pin 
Their richest geer around their sun-burnt necks, 
Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, trees, windows, 
Are smother'd up; housetops & ridges fill'd 
With various ranks of men, all agreeing 
In earnestness to see him — old senators 
Do press among the popular throng, & puff 
To win a vulgar station; beauteous dames 
Commit the war of white & damask, in 
Their nicely gauded cheeks, to the wanton spoil 
Of Phoebus' burning kisses. Such joyful shouts, 
As if the very DEITY who guides him 
Were crept into his human powers 
To give him grace and honor ! 

Washington's Southern Tour 

Making an early start on Sunday, the 24th, Washington 
breakfasted "at an indifferent house about 13 miles from 
Sage's." The house, and perhaps the entertainment, was 
so indifferent, we presume, that the President does not 
even mention the owner's name — who thus lost perhaps 
his one and only chance to have his name go down to pos- 
terity. On Saturday, authentic information reached Wil- 
mington of the President's approach, and the necessary 
preparations were made for his coming. So, three miles be- 
yond the aforesaid indifferent house, at a place called the 
Rouse House, Washington was met by a party of Light 
Horse from Wilmington under the command of Captain 
Henry Toomer. 1 At the Rouse House, during the Revolu- 
tion, was fought a sanguinary engagement between Brit- 
ish and Americans, the British General Craig giving no 
quarter and massacring the patriots with the exception of 
a boy who escaped. 

1 Henry Toomer was probably of the Welsh emigrant colony from 
Pennsylvania and Delaware in 1735-37 and subsequently, to which the 
State of South Carolina made a grant of 173,840 acres along the Peedee 
River. They were Baptists. For generations the Toomers were prominent 
in Charleston, South Carolina. Joshua Toomer and his son Henry settled 
in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1693. This Henry's son, Joshua, with 
Joshua's son, Henry (the "Captain" here mentioned), removed to Wil- 
mington, North Carolina. Henry Toomer was one of the Gentlemen of 
Wilmington who signed the paper addressed to the Royal Governor Wil- 
liam Tryon (July 28, 1766), which affirmed that "Moderation ceases to be 
a Virtue when the liberty of British Subjects is in danger." He was a mem- 
ber of the Wilmington Committee of Safety (elected July 6, 1775); and 
was appointed commissary to a detachment of militia from the Halifax 
Brigade, under Brigadier-General Ashe. He was appointed by the North 
Carolina Legislature as Commissioner on Navigation of Cape Fear River 
(1778), and commissioner to repair Fort Johnston (1778). He was married 
three times, his third wife being Magdalene Mary de Rosset. Consult 
Catherine de Rosset Meares: Annals of the de Rosset Family (Columbia, 
S.C., 1906). 




Engraving by Edward Savage after the portrait painted by him for 

Harvard College 



uawE«sin of i! UMots 

Wilmington and Georgetown 

At a distance of some six miles from Wilmington, the 
President was met by a committee of prominent citizens 
and in addition by a large number of the "Gentlemen of 
the Town" — among whom doubtless were gentlemen 
bearing such names as de Rosset, Ashe, Moore, Wright, 
Iredell, Lord, Johnson, Walker, Waddell, and Lilling- 

Alighting from his coach, Washington received the greet- 
ings of the committee and other gentlemen; and then, 
mounting one of his horses, was escorted into town in the 
following order: 

Four dragoons from the horse with a trumpet 

The President and his aide-de-camp, Major Jackson 

The High Sheriff of New Hanover County 

with the Committee appointed to attend on the President 

during his stay 

The troop of Light Horse 

The Gentlemen of the Town 

The President's equipage and attendants. 

On reaching Wilmington, about two o'clock, the Wil- 
mington Artillery Company, under the command of Cap- 
tain Huske, 1 which had previously paraded, now gave a 

1 John Huske, said to have been born in Hull, England, emigrated to 
North Carolina prior to the American Revolution. He was private secre- 
tary to Governor Thomas Burke of North Carolina; and was captured 
along with him, by the Tory leader David Fanning, and conveyed to Wil- 
mington. He was a confirmed Republican, and actively opposed the rati- 
fication of the Constitution. For some years he was clerk of the Superior 
Court at Wilmington. He was elected member from New Hanover County 
in the State Conventions of 1788 and 1789. He was married in 1784 to 
Miss Elizabeth Hogg, of Hillsborough, daughter of James and McDowal 


Washington's Southern Tour 

triple "federal salute" — three discharges of fifteen guns 
each. Over the saluting battery floated the flag of the 
United States. "The President was then conducted in the 
same order," says a contemporary print, "to the house 
provided for his reception, through an astonishing con- 
course of people of the town and country, whom, as well 
as the ladies that filled the windows and balconies of the 
houses, he saluted with his usual affability and conde- 
scension. Upon his alighting, the acclamations were loud 
and universal. The ships in the harbour, all ornamented 
with their colours, added much to the beauty of the scene." 
Thus was Washington escorted into town, and to the 
"very good lodgings" prepared for him — the tavern 
kept by a Masonic brother of the President, Lawrence 
A. Dorsey. At this famous hostelry, known as Dorsey's 
Tavern, 1 where public banquets were frequently served, 
the Masonic brethren were in the habit of occasionally 
gathering around the festive board; and on one historic 
occasion both the local lodges, St. Tammany and St. John, 
"proceeded to Brother Dorsey's, where a lecture was de- 
livered by Brother Hailing and the lodges called off and 
dined together in unanimity." 2 The committee were 

(Alves) Hogg — occasioning William Hooper's pun : " Entre nous, Betsey 
Hogg will probably change her name before you see her — and, for the sake 
of a pun — and it is the first I ever made — will substitute the food for the 
animal." They left two children: John Huske, of Fayetteville, father of the 
late Reverend Joseph C. Huske; and Annie, who was married to Dr. James 
Webb, of Hillsborough. 

1 This building stood on what is now the site of the old Fulton House, at 
present called the Southern Hotel, on the east side of Front Street, be- 
tween Princess and Market Streets. 

2 Compare Presidents who have Visited Wilmington, North Carolina, by 

1 06 

TVilmington and Georgetown 

honored by an invitation from the President to dine with 
him at Dorsey's Tavern, which they did ; and after a short 
repast, he took a walk around the town, being accompanied 
by the committee and many other gentlemen of the town. 
Washington did not have his lodgings at Dorsey's 
Tavern, as it happened. The house which at first was "in- 
tended for him by the inhabitants for his reception and ac- 
commodation " was not ready for him; and while the city 
fathers were in this dilemma, "Mrs. Quince, a widow lady, 
whose family was then large, cheerfully made an offer to 
the town of her elegant house and furniture for that pur- 
pose, which was gratefully accepted." 1 The patriotic and 
hospitable Mrs. Quince, who doubtless gave up her house 
at no little inconvenience to herself, because of being a 
widow with a large family, was "the wife of Mr. John 
Quince, a wealthy citizen who has descendants now re- 
siding here. They had a very pretentious residence on the 
southeast corner of what is now Front and Dark Streets, 
the site whereon now stands the two-story frame house, 
for so many years occupied by the wholesale grocery 
house of Adrian and Vollers. Little do we think daily in 
passing that now unpretentious corner that the immortal 
Washington tarried there." 2 Not without regret must 
Washington have learned of the death, a few months 
earlier, of the courtly Hooper — one of that triumvirate 

Iredell Meares, and issued as a souvenir on the occasion of the visit of 
President Taft, November 9, 1909. 

1 Columbian Centinel, June II, 1791. 

2 Wilmington Messenger, April 25, 1901. This building, a brick structure, 
was destroyed by fire many years ago. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

in the Continental Congress, Lee, Patrick Henry, and 
Hooper, whom John Adams called "the orators"; one 
who always "feared when Washington was not in com- 
mand " ; and who, when the Revolution was at its height, 
wrote of Washington in the following strain to Robert 
Morris: "When it shall be consistent with Policy to give 
the history of that man, from his first introduction into 
our service, how often America has been rescued from 
ruin by the mere strength of his genius, conduct and cour- 
age, encountering every obstacle that want of money, men, 
arms, ammunition could throw in his way, an impartial 
world will say with you that he is the greatest man on 
earth." l Sad, too, was it to miss that soldier in whom 
Washington had reposed such particular confidence, the 
intrepid Robert Howe — the soldier whom Washington, 
in a crisis in 1781, had sent to quell the mutiny of Penn- 
sylvania and New Jersey troops, a mission so efficiently 
executed that Washington, in behalf of the country, re- 
turned a vote of thanks to General Howe and his troops. 
And perhaps, too, Washington, associating Wilmington 
with the days of his youth, affectionately recalled that 
trustworthy soldier, Colonel James Innes, his comrade in 
arms at Braddock's defeat. 

On Monday, in the forenoon, Washington received a 
delegation of the citizens ; and the leader presented to him 
the following address, which strikingly predicts the "effec- 
tual operation of the new constitution": 

1 Archibald Henderson: "William Hooper," in Greensboro Daily News, 
February 22, 1917. 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

To the President of the United States. 

We wait on you to offer the tribute of respect, gratitude 
and esteem so justly due to your exalted station, your eminent 
public services, and the extraordinary virtues that adorn your 

We thank you for the high honour conferred on us by your 
visit to this place in your tour through the southern states, 
and salute you with the most cordial welcome to the chief 
sea-port town of the extensive state of North Carolina. 

It may be proper to observe, Sir, that if the progress of 
agricultural and commercial improvement, in the state of 
which we are a part, bore any proportion to the great natural 
resources it contains, this town would probably have sur- 
mounted some of the obvious disadvantages of its situation, 
and become more worthy of the honor it now enjoys by your 

Truly sensible, that a system of government, at once benig- 
nant and efficient, is the sure source of safety and prosperity 
to every country where it obtains, We anticipate with great 
pleasure the effectual operation of the new constitution, per- 
suading ourselves, that the same wisdom, liberality, and gen- 
uine patriotism of which there is so illustrious an example 
in the conduct of our Chief Magistrate, have hitherto influ- 
enced and will continue to temper the councils of the nation; 
We ardently hope that admirable political fabric, reared upon 
the basis of public virtue, may prove a strong pillar of sup- 
port to the union of the states, — improved and strengthened 
by revolving years, may it be as durable as your fame, and 
extend the blessings of civil liberty to the latest ages. 

Accept, Sir, our humble testimony, in addition to the in- 
numerable instances you have experienced, in proof that the 
same sentiment pervades the breasts of the citizens of the 
United States universally, that to you, principally (under 
Providence) our common country is indebted for liberty and 
independence, that those invaluable acquisitions are become 
the means of permanent happiness, is equally an occasion of 
gratitude to you. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

May you long continue on earth your country's glory and 
human nature's great ornament, and finally, in an immor- 
tal state receive from the Great Protector of the Universe, 
the rich reward that awaits the distinguished benefactors of 

Signed Wm. Campbell 

John Bradley 
J. Fergus 
G. Hooper 
Wm. Hill 
Ed. Jones 
James Read 
Committee appointed by the Inhabitants 1 

1 William Campbell, a man of wealth and a prosperous merchant, was the 
brother of James Campbell, a prominent Scotch merchant and trader 
whose enterprises carried him back and forth between Boston and the Cape 
Fear region. His father, James Campbell, was a resident of Wilmington in 
the early years of the eighteenth century. He was a leading citizen of Wil- 
mington, a member of the order of Sons of Liberty (1770), sheriff of New 
Hanover County (1774-75), and served on the Safety Committee of that 
town with such patriots as Cornelius Harnett, William Hooper, Archibald 
Maclaine, Adam Boyd, Henry Toomer, and Caleb Grainger. On October 
25, 1 775, he was elected a member of the Committee of Secrecy and Corre- 
spondence, but resigned soon afterwards, presumably because of Royalist 
sympathies. He lent money freely to leaders of the Revolution, and was 
solicitous for the welfare of Governor Thomas Burke, when the latter was a 
prisoner of the British at Wilmington in 1781. He was one of the original 
subscribers to Thomas Godfrey's The Prince of Parthia (completed in Wil- 
mington), the first tragedy ever written by an American. 

John Bradley, son of Richard Bradley, of Kendall, England, and Ann 
Sharpless, of Chester, Pennsylvania. His parents, both Quakers, who were 
married in 1734, removed from Pennsylvania to Guilford County, North 
Carolina. Later removing to Wilmington, Richard Bradley became a 
prominent merchant. During the occupation of Wilmington by Royalist 
forces, the Bradley family were ousted from their home and otherwise 
harshly treated by Craig. Richard's son, John, who never married, was 
also a prominent merchant. His four sisters were married to representa- 
tives of leading families of the Cape Fear section: Lord, Green, Wright, 
Brown. John Bradley was trustee of the Presbyterian Church at Wilming- 
ton (appointed 1785), and Commissary of Issues at that port for a time. 
John Rutherford describes him as a "peaceable and well disposed citizen," 
a man deserving of "merit in supporting a mother, brother, and several 
sisters, in ease and comfort, by his industry." In a duel on July n, 1787, 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

In his reply, as was his custom, Washington dwells upon 
the virtues of the general government, and prophesies 

he killed Major Samuel Swann. In a Legislative Report regarding this 
duel, it was stated that he " innocently and unintentionally gave an offence 
to the deceased Mr. Swann . . . and did everything in his power to avoid 
the fatal conflict." He was pardoned for this duel by the Legislature of 
North Carolina in 1789. He died in 1811. Consult McRee: Life and Letters 
of James Iredell. 

Dr. James Fergus, a noted physician, was a warm adherent of the Revo- 
lutionary cause. He served as surgeon of the Sixth Regiment of North 
Carolina troops during the Revolution. He was probably the son of Dr. 
John Fergus, Justice of the Peace for New Hanover County, who is de- 
scribed by McRee, in the Life and Letters of James Iredell, as "of stately 
presence, with velvet coat, cocked hat and gold-headed cane, a graduate of 
Edinburgh, and an excellent Latin and Greek scholar." Under the title of 
"Surgeon's Mate," James Fergus appears in a list of the members of the 
North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, founded at Hillsborough, Octo- 
ber, 1783. 

George Hooper was a son of the Reverend William Hooper of Boston, 
second rector of Trinity Church; and brother of William Hooper, 
signer of the Declaration of Independence, from North Carolina. He was a 
graduate of the University of Edinburgh. In a letter addressed to " the 
distressed inhabitants of the town of Boston" (July 21, 1774), in which 
occur very strong expressions in regard to the invasion of the rights of the 
American people, his name stands second in the list of signatures. When 
the drift toward independence became clear, however, he avowed himself 
as opposed to the Whig movement. "He was a loyalist from honest con- 
viction," says G. J. McRee, "but took no part in the War of the Revolu- 
tion, because he could not find it in his heart to imbrue his hands in the 
blood of his neighbors. . . . His relations with all the Whig leaders on the 
lower Cape Fear were intimate and cordial, and in despite of his politics, 
survived the Revolution. Respect for his character was general, if not uni- 
versal. He possessed a vigorous intellect, was well informed, and reputed 
to be a good writer." As a merchant, he prosecuted trade for the major 
part of his life in Wilmington, and acquired a moderate fortune. 

William H. Hill, the son of William Hill of Boston and a Harvard gradu- 
ate; studied law in Boston. He was a brilliant lawyer, an eloquent advo- 
cate. In 1789 he was appointed by Washington the first District Attorney 
of the United States for North Carolina. In the State Assembly, Senate 
(1794), House (1797). Served in Congress, 1799-1803. Voted for Burr for 
President. Appointed Federal Judge by Adams, but the appointment was 
not confirmed. Lived at "Hillton" in the suburbs of Wilmington, and was 
a successful planter. He was thrice married: to Elizabeth Moore; Alice 
Starkey; Eliza Maria Ashe. Consult Life of William Hill, by A. M. 
Hooper; also, Biographical History of North Carolina, vol. iv. 


}Vashington' > s Southern Tour 

prosperity for the country under its stable and benign in- 

To the Inhabitants of the Town of Wilmington. 

Appreciating with due value the sentiments you are 
pleased to express for my station and character, I should fail 
in candour and respect not to avow the grateful sensations 
excited by your address, for which I thank you with un- 
feigned sincerity. 

Reasoning from the rapid progress of improvement 
throughout the United States, and adverting to the facility 
which every undertaking must derive from a settled system 
of government, the obviation of those disadvantages, imposed 
by situation on your town may, I think, be calculated upon 
within no very distant period. 

Edward Jones, brother of William Todd Jones, the Irish patriot, was 
born in Lisburn, Ireland, March io, 1762; settled in Wilmington in 1786. 
Represented the Town of Wilmington in North Carolina House of Com- 
mons (1788-91). In 1791 he was unanimously elected Solicitor General 
of North Carolina, an office created for him and to which he was elected 
for life. He attained high distinction as a lawyer, by his talent and learn- 
ing. Married to Mary Elizabeth Mallett, June 20, 1790. About 1795 ne 
removed to Rock Rest, Chatham County. He died at Pittsborough, North 
Carolina, August 8, 1841. He was the friend and patron of Johnston 
Blakely, naval hero of the War of 1812. 

James Read was born in Armagh, Ireland. He emigrated to North Caro- 
lina and " threw himself heartily into the patriot cause " at the outbreak of 
the Revolution. Appointed ensign, January 4, 1776; lieutenant, July 7, 
1776; and captain, July 8, 1777, First North Carolina Continental Battal- 
ion, under the command of Colonel, afterwards General, Moore. He served 
throughout the war, distinguishing himself under Greene at Guilford 
Court-House and Hobkirk's Hill. After the war he stoutly opposed the 
adoption of the Federal Constitution. Was appointed Collector of the Port 
of Brunswick in 1785, pursuant to an act of the General Assembly (1784). 
Served as Commissioner on Pilotage of Cape Fear River (1783), Commis- 
sioner for the Officers and Soldiers of the Continental Line (1783-85), and 
trustee of Innes Academy (1788). He was a member of the North Carolina 
Society of the Cincinnati. In 1790, Wilmington was made the port of entry 
for the Cape Fear River; and he was appointed collector of that port by 
Washington in 1790. This office he held until his death in 1802 or 1803. 
He was never married. 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

The sanction which experience has already given to the 
salutary influence of the general government on the affairs of 
the United States, authorizes a well founded expectation, 
that every aid which a wise and virtuous legislation can ren- 
der to individual industry, will be afforded, and creates a 
pleasing hope, that the happiness of her citizens will be com- 
mensurate with the growing dignity and importance of our 

I express a heartfelt sentiment in wishing to your town and 
its inhabitants a full proportion of general and particular 

G. Washington 

In "The General Advertiser and Political, Commercial 
and Literary Journal" (Philadelphia, June 4, 1791), the 
above address to George Washington is dated Wilming- 
ton (North Carolina), April 16, and signed "In behalf of 
the inhabitants of the town of Wilmington, April 26, 1791. 
Thomas Wright." * 

1 Thomas Wright, son of Samuel and Sarah (Pettigrew) Wright, was the 
great-grandson of Thomas Wright, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, Deputy 
to the General Court in 1643. He served three years as a private in the 
Fourth Regiment, North Carolina Continental Line (April 29, 1776, to 
May 10, 1779). In Wilmington his house stood on the Southwest corner of 
Market and Third Streets; it was used as headquarters by Lord Cornwallis 
in 1 78 1. The famous "Fairfield" plantation, on the northeast branch of 
the Cape Fear River, originally belonged to Humphrey, brother to Gabriel 
Johnston, Governor of North Carolina; and was purchased by Thomas 
Wright of the widow of Joseph Wragg. He was appointed by the North 
Carolina Legislature a Trustee of the Presbyterian Church at Wilmington 
(1785) and a Trustee of the Innes Academy (1788). He served the longest 
recorded term as Sheriff of New Hanover County (1782-98). He was mar- 
ried to Anne Grainger, daughter of Joshua Grainger, Jr. Their son, the 
distinguished Joshua Grainger Wright, was married to Susan Bradley, 
daughter of John Bradley, already mentioned. For Joshua G. Wright was 
named Wrightsville, village and beach, a famous seaside resort near Wil- 
mington. Another genealogist states that Thomas Wright (2), was the son 
of Thomas Wright (1) by his first marriage; that he was married to Ann 
Winslow, of Fayetteville; and that Joshua G. Wright was the son of 
Thomas Wright (1) by his second wife, Anne Grainger. 


IVashi?igtorfs Southern Tour 

We may be sure, from the evidence of the love of good 
things and the joy of living which the people of Wilming- 
ton have always shown, that Washington enjoyed "the 
elegant dinner at Jocelin's tavern" given in his honor 
that day by the gentlemen of the town. In the after- 
noon there was a "procession," doubtless a military pa- 
rade, the soldiery under the command of Colonel Brown 
and Captains Toomer and Huske being reviewed by Wash- 
ington; and in the evening there was a Grand Ball given at 
the Assembly Hall, which was sometimes called "Old '76," 
because it had been built in 1776. 1 At this ball — at 
which he notes the presence of sixty-two ladies — Wash- 
ington "appeared to be equally surprised and delighted, 
at the very large and brilliant assembly, of ladies, whom 
admiration and respect for him had collected together." 
The same evening there was a general illumination and 
bonfires, the ship Maria of Boston, festooned with lights 
— deck, spars, and masts — presenting a rarely beautiful 
sight. So universal was the participation in the festivities 
by all the inhabitants that a contemporary print thus 
comments: "It is scarcely possible to do justice to the zeal 
with which every description of persons appeared to be an- 
imated to do honour and afford satisfaction to the illus- 
trious visitant." 

An intimate glimpse of the ceremonies, and of the ex- 
citements of these two crowded days, is afforded by a con- 

1 This building stood on Front Street, east side, between Orange and 
Ann Streets, where now stands the two-story brick tenement house owned 
by S. Teller, Esq. It was later used as a sailor boarding-house and was torn 
down just a century after its erection. 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

temporary letter, written by Mrs. Anna Jean Simpson to 
her sister, Mrs. Christian Fleming, of Wilmington, who 
was then at Brown Marsh, now Clarkton, Bladen County, 
where her husband had a plantation. 

25/A April, 1 79 1. 

Many thanks, my dear sister, for your kind invitation. 
Poor Mary is indeed in a very bad way, she has not been out 
of bed but to have it made for eight days past, though I hope, 
as her ague has left her and the fever is less, that she will soon 
get strength to visit you. At present I am afraid she is too 
weak. I shall let you know by next opportunity when to send. 

Great doings this day. General Washington arrived yester- 
day. The Light Horse went to meet him. The artillery were 
ready to receive him with a round from the batteries, four 
guns. This day he dines with the Gentlemen of the town; in 
the evening a grand ball and illumination; to-morrow takes 
his leave. I believe the Light Horse are to escort him a day's 
journey on his way to Chas'ton. 

Half-past four — just going to dinner — cannons firing; 
Chrissy and the children all gone to see the procession. I 
don't go to the ball this evening as Mary cannot accompany 
me. She desires me to ask if you have many beaux at the 
Marsh. Adieu. I must get the candles. 

Mrs. Quince has given up her house to the General and she 
stays with our uncles. . . . 

Believe me to be your affectionate sister, 

Anna Jean Simpson. 1 

Surviving down to the present time is the tradition that 
Washington asked "Lai" Dorsey, the keeper of the inn 
where he dined the day of his arrival, what kind of water 

1 This letter is owned by Clayton Giles, Esq., of Wilmington, a descend- 
ant of Mrs. Fleming. Mrs. Simpson and Mrs. Fleming were the daughters 
of Mr. William McKenzie, a Scotchman who once lived in Wilmington and 
subsequently removed to Georgia. Mrs. Simpson was the wife of Mr. John 
Simpson, of Georgia, who was a member of the King's Council for the 
Colony of Georgia and, at the date of her letter, is supposed to be visiting 
relatives in Wilmington. 


fVashifigtorfs Southern Tour 

the people of Wilmington had to drink — as he had no- 
ticed the very flat and swampy nature of the surround- 
ing country. The impudent innkeeper, who preceded 
Volstead by a century and a quarter, replied that he didn't 
know — as he hadn't drunk any for forty years! Report 
hath it that, on receiving this reply, the tactful visitor, 
with a delicate appreciation of the local option then in 
vogue, made no further inquiries concerning the water 
during his stay in Wilmington. 

In his diary of Sunday, 24th, Washington makes rather 
lengthy comment upon Wilmington and the surrounding 

The whole Road from Newbern to Wilmington (except in a 
few places of small extent) passes through the most barren 
country I ever beheld; especially in the parts nearest the 
latter; which is no other than a bed of white sand. — In 
places, however, before we came to these, if the ideas of 
poverty could be separated from the Sand, the appearances of 
it are agreeable, resembling a lawn well covered with ever- 
greens, and a good verdure below from a broom or course 
grass which having sprung since the burning of the Woods had 
a neat and handsome look especially as there were parts 
entirely open — and others with ponds of water, which con- 
tributed not a little to the beauty of the scene. 

Wilmington is situated on the Cape Fear River, about 
30 miles by water from its mouth, but much less by land — 
1 1 has some good houses pretty compactly built. — The whole 
undr a hill; which is formed entirely of sand. — The number of 
Souls in it amount by the enumeration to about iooo, 1 but it 

1 The growth of the population of Wilmington was slow. By 1820 Wil- 
mington had only 1098 whites, 1433 slaves, 102 free negroes — a total of 
only 2633. In 1765 it contained less than eight hundred people. If<he in- 
crease in population were uniform, the population of Wilmington in 1791 
must have been about sixteen hundred. 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

is agreed on all hands that the Census in this State has been 
very inaccurately, & Shamefully taken by the Marshall's 
deputies; who, instead of going to Peoples houses, & 
there, on the spot, ascertaining the Nos.; have advertised a 
meeting of them at certain places, by which means those 
who did not attend (and it seems many purposely avoided 
doing it, some from an apprehension of its being introductory 
of a tax, & others from religious scruples) have gone with 
their families, unnumbered — In other instances, it is said 
these deputies have taken their information from the Cap- 
tains of Militia Companies; not only as to the men on their 
Muster Rolls, but of the Souls, in their respective families; 
which at best, must in a variety of cases, be mere conjecture 
whilst all those who are not on their lists — Widows and 
their families &c. pass unnoticed. 

Wilmington, unfortunately for it, has a Mud bank, — 
miles below, over which not more than 10 feet water can be 
brought at common tides, yet it is said vessels of 250 Tons 
have come up. — The quty. of Shipping, which load here 
annually, amounts to about 1 200 Tonns. — The exports con- 
sist chiefly of Naval Stores and lumber. — Some Tobacco, 
Corn, Rice & flax seed with Porke. — It is at the head of 
the tide navigation, but inland navigation may be extended 
115 miles farther to and above Fayettesville which is from 
Wilmington 90 miles by land, & 115 by Water as above. 
— Fayettesville is a thriving place containing near 
Souls 1 — 6000 Hhds. of Tobacco, & 3000 Hhds. of Flax 
Seed have been reed, at it in the course of the year. 

Upon arrival in Wilmington, Major Jackson received a 
courteous letter from a prominent citizen of Charleston — 
perhaps Intendant Amoldus Vanderhorst, 2 expressing the 
desire that Washington might be lodged at the writer's 
private house. The writer, presumably in an official ca- 

1 The population of Fayetteville was about one thousand. 

2 The original of this letter has not been found. The reply of Major 
Jackson, in the Washington MSS., Library of Congress, gives no indication 
of the name of the person to whom it was addressed. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

pacity, had engaged the handsome house of the Honorable 
Thomas Heyward, Jr., for Washington's "quarters " during 
his sojourn in Charleston. Major Jackson made the fol- 
lowing reply to this letter: 

Wilmington, April 24, 1791. 
Dear Sir, 

I had the honor to receive your letter of the 2nd instant; 
on our arrival here this morning. 

The President of the U. S., to whom I have communicated 
its contents, directs me, as it relates to him to express to you, 
and through you, to the Citizens of South Carolina, the sensi- 
bility with which he learns their intention to receive and to 
accommodate him — he adds that no subsequent circum- 
stance can lessen his sense of their goodness on this occasion, 
— But as the uncertainty of his arrival at any given place is 
greatly encreased by the deep sandy roads, which he is to 
encounter with horses somewhat exhausted, he is not able to 
say more than that he will leave Wilmington on tuesday 
morning, and proceed towards Charleston as fast as may con- 
sist with convenience and good speed. 

The President's uniform determination to decline private 
invitations to quarters, which is founded in the desire of 
avoiding to give inconvenience to private families, prevails 
over his wish to benefit from the hospitality to which your 
letter alludes. — He desires me to express his particular ob- 
ligations to your care in procuring lodgings for him — and to 
present to you his respects. 

On Tuesday morning (26th), having sent his carriage 
across the day before, Washington made an early start — 
six o'clock. Prior to his departure, all the necessary prepa- 
rations and arrangements had been agreed upon. So the 
programme went off with perfect smoothness. The Pres- 
ident went on board the "elegantly decorated" revenue 

barge, which was manned by six American captains of 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

ships, in which the standard of the United States was dis- 
played ; and attended by the boats from the shipping in the 
harbor, under their national colors, on board of which the 
committee and other gentlemen of the town embarked, 
proceeded, to the firing of cannon and the acclamations of 
throngs of people at the wharves and on the ships, to " Bel- 
videre," the seat of Colonel Benjamin Smith, in Brunswick 
County. In speaking of the almost universal participation 
in the festivities at Wilmington, a contemporary print 
says: "The behavior of the Masters of the vessels above 
mentioned, does them great honour, and the Commanders 
of the foreign vessels in the river, are entitled to a con- 
siderable share of praise"; with the further bit of news: 
"The President was pleased, before his departure, to 
appoint Captain Cook of this town (Wilmington), to the 
command of one of the Revenue Cutters now building." 

According to tradition, when Washington reached the 
river landing at "Belvidere" he was met by thirteen 
young ladies, all dressed in white and representing the 
thirteen colonies, who preceded him up the avenue of old 
trees leading from the river to the brick residence of Gen- 
eral Smith, scattering flowers in the path of the national 
hero as he approached. Washington greeted with partic- 
ular pleasure his former aide-de-camp during the hazard- 
ous yet masterly retreat from Long Island, the brave 
soldier who had distinguished himself when the British 
were driven from Port Royal Island, a most gracious and 
entertaining host, General Smith. To his host, who at one 

time was Past Grand Master of the Masonic Grand Lodge 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

of North Carolina, as a mark of friendship, Washington 
presented a Masonic apron, which a descendant afterwards 
donated to some Masonic lodge in Pennsylvania. It is 
said, probably incorrectly, that "when General Smith 
learned of the illness of Washington he immediately left 
his house in North Carolina and hastened to the bedside of 
his chief, where he remained until Washington died." It 
is not improbable that General Smith went to Mount 
Vernon on hearing of Washington's death, and was in time 
to attend the funeral. By an oversight, Washington left his 
easy slippers behind at "Belvidere," and many years later 
one of them it seems was presented (such is the interest 
attaching to even the most trivial thing which once be- 
longed to a celebrity) to the British Museum! * 

After having breakfast at "Belvidere," Washington 
took to the road once more, being accompanied for some 
ten miles by Colonel Brown, 2 commander of the Horse for 

1 Tom Masson, in the Mobile Register. General Smith was a great- 
grandson of Thomas Smith, first landgrave of South Carolina; and his wife, 
Sarah, the daughter of Colonel William Dry, Collector of the Port of Wil- 
mington, was a descendant of Cromwell's admiral, Robert Blake. The year 
following Washington's visit, the town which contained the courthouse of 
Brunswick County was named Smithville in his honor — a name which it 
bore for a century. It now bears the name of Southport. General Smith 
was prominent in politics, being repeatedly returned to State House and 
Senate; a member of the convention which adopted the Constitution of the 
United States; and subsequently Governor of North Carolina. He was a 
generous donor to the University of North Carolina, where a building was 
named Smith Hall in his honor. During Washington's presidency, he was 
appointed General of Militia (1796). 

2 Thomas Brown, son of John Brown and Lucy Bright, was born in 
Bladen County, North Carolina, January 7, 1744. Served under General 
Hugh Waddell in the War of the Regulation, 1771. Member of Commit- 
tee of Safety for Bladen County, 1774. Participated in general meeting 
of Committees of Safety of the Wilmington District, June 20, 1775, s 'g n ' n g 
the "Association." About this time he was married to Sarah Bartram, 



Wilmington and Georgetown 

the district, and the Wilmington troop. At his "first 
stage on the road to Charleston," he was met by the Rep- 
resentative in Congress from Fayetteville, William Barry 
Grove, Esq., a prominent North Carolina Federalist, Rep- 
resentative from North Carolina in the Second, Third, 
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Congresses — the 
colleague in Congress of such prominent North Caro- 
lina Federalists as Archibald Henderson, John Steele, 
John Stanly, and William H. Hill. Grove, who enjoyed 
great popularity in his district, was an ardent supporter of 
the Constitution at the Convention in 1789; and was for 
many years a member of the National Congress. 1 Before 
leaving Philadelphia he had learned that Washington con- 
templated making a tour through the South; and doubt- 
less at his instance, a general meeting of the citizens, pre- 

daughter of William Bartram. Appointed lieutenant-colonel of Bladen 
militia, September, 1775, and participated in the campaign against the 
Tories and Regulators, terminating in the defeat of General McDonald at 
Moore's Creek, February 23, 1776. Member of the Provincial Congress 
which met at Halifax, November, 1776. In the autumn of 1780 was active 
in procuring supplies for General Gates's army. In August or September, 
178 1, after the country had been overrun by the Tories, Colonel Brown 
with about one hundred and fifty Whigs made an attack on the forces 
under Colonel Slingsby at Elizabethtown, and achieved a striking victory 
over heavy odds. In 1786 he was elected lieutenant-colonel, commandant 
of horse, for the District of Wilmington, and was later given the rank of 
major-general of the State militia. In 1785, 1786, and 1788 he served in the 
North Carolina Assembly as Senator from Bladen County. Was married 
a second time, to Lucy Bradley, daughter of Richard Bradley and Eliza- 
beth Ashbridge [or Ann?] Sharpless. He resided at Ashwood,on the Cape 
Fear River, sixty miles from Fort Johnson. Died in Bladen County, No- 
vember 24, 181 1. 

1 In his Short History of Cumberland County and the Cape Fear Section, 
J. H. Myrover says that Grove was "suave and courtly in manner, but 
adroit and supple as a politician. . . . Barry Grove lived in old-time hos- 
pitality in a mansion on west Rowan Street, where he profusely and 
elegantly entertained the Congressmen and other public men. . . ." 


Washington' *s Southern Tour 

sided over by John Hay, 1 was held at Fayetteville at the 
State House, April 15th, when there was adopted an 
"Address to the President of the United States of America" 
by the "Merchants, Traders and principal Inhabitants of 
the town of Fayetteville," in all probability drafted by Mr. 
Grove. For some decades, Fayetteville had been a strong- 
hold of the Scotch merchants, the leading market for all 
the Piedmont region of western North Carolina, and even 
for the transmontane country of East Tennessee and 
Southwest Virginia. Here the Legislature of North Caro- 
lina met in 1788, 1789, 1790, and 1793; and here for a 
time on the right hand side of Green Street before you cross 
Eccles's Bridge, near the intersection of Green and Bow 
Streets — according to Boswell's "Life of Johnson" — 
lived the famous Flora McDonald, the protectress of 
Bonny Prince Charlie. It is said to be the first town in the 
United States to be named after the Marquis de la- 
Fayette — the name being changed from Cross Creek to 
Fayetteville in 1784. 2 

1 John Hay, of a family associated with the great mercantile interests of 
Fayetteville, was a brilliant lawyer and talented writer on political sub- 
jects. He represented Sampson County in the North Carolina Assembly, 
October, 1784; and Cumberland County in the House of Commons in 1786, 
and in the State Convention of 1788. He removed to Fayetteville about 
1785, and was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons from 
the Borough of Fayetteville, 1790, 1793, 1799, 1805. He was a patron of 
education, a member of the first Board of Trustees of the University of 
North Carolina. Consult G. J. McRee: Life and Letters of James Iredell 
(New York, 1858). 

2 It is singular that apparently no effort was made to induce Washington 
to visit the first town ever named for him: Washington, North Carolina. 
The patriotic fervor of the time, as well as the presence of the armed brig, 
the General Washington, at the wharf, inspired Colonel James Bonner to 
give to his "intended Township" the name of "Washington" — which he 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

The news of Washington's arrival at Wilmington did 
not reach Fayetteville, some ninety miles distant, until the 
afternoon of Sunday (24th) ; whereupon Mr. Grove, bearing 
the address, set off, but reached "Belvidere" on Tuesday 
morning about an hour after the President's departure. 
The address, as given below, was delivered by Mr. Grove 
to the President at his first stop in Brunswick County 
after leaving "Belvidere." It is conspicuous for its out- 
spoken endorsement of the President for undertaking the 

To the President of the United States of America. 

Although our voice can add little to the general acclama- 
tion which attends you, and to your Excellency must be of 
small moment, yet amidst the warm congratulations on the 
appearance in this state of their beloved Chief Magistrate, 
our silence would indicate a want of respect; a silence which 
would be the more reprehensible in a community so largely 
interested in trade and navigation, more peculiarly under the 
directing hand of that government in which you preside. 

Could any incident encrease the veneration we feel for 
your illustrious character, heretofore so fully established as 
the soldier, the statesman and the patriot, it is your present 
expedition, in undertaking at an advanced period of life, a 
long and laborious journey for the purpose of advising your- 
self, by personal observations and enquiry, of the true inter- 
ests of the several states which compose our confederation. 
From this tour we presage the happy consequence, that those 
who are not yet satisfied with the tendency, operation and 
effects of the present constitution of the union, will be con- 
vinced of its superior excellency to all former systems of 

did in the deed to a lot, December 7, 1776. Compare article by Miss Lida 
T. Rodman in the Washington (N.C.) Observer, February 22, 1921. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Throughout your journey we wish you as much satisfaction 
as can attend it, and if in its progress we are to be honoured 
by your visitation, the citizens of Fayetteville will be happy 
in every attention which may contribute to your pleasure and 

Under the impression of the importance of a life so valu- 
able to our country we commit it to God, with our most fer- 
vent prayer, that it may long be preserved as full of happiness 
as it hath been already full of glory. 

Done at the general meeting of the Citizens of Fayetteville, 
at the State-house, on Friday, the 15th of April, 1791 . 

John Hay, Chairman 

In reply, the President said: 


It is due to your goodness and to my own feelings, that I 
should express the sensibility excited by your address, and 
that I should acknowledge the grateful pleasure with which I 
receive it. 

My best services are more than compensated by the affec- 
tionate partiality of my fellow citizens, and my most anxious 
wishes are gratified in observing the happiness which per- 
vades our country. 

The very favourable change already manifested in our po- 
litical system, justifies the prediction that the future opera- 
tions of the general government will be alike conducive to in- 
dividual prosperity and national honor. 

Should it consist with the necessary arrangements of my 
journey, I shall be happy in a personal opportunity in confess- 
ing my obligations to the regard of the citizens of Fayette- 
ville. In any event I entreat them to be persuaded of my sin- 
cere wishes for their welfare. Geo. Washington 

An amusing incident occurred in connection with Wash- 
ington's journey from Wilmington to Georgetown. On 
April 5th, Mr. J. Bowman, writing from Peachtree, South 

Carolina, extended a cordial invitation to the President to 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

"accept of the accomodations" of his house — which 
was "about 14 miles from Georgetown, & the nearest to 
the direct road from thence to Charlestown." On the 16th 
he writes again, saying that he feels it "due" to mention 
that he is sick, and that he " apprehends his Indisposition 
to be the Measles"! Although he ventures the hope that 
Washington and his attendants have already "had that 
disorder," certain it is that Washington gave Mr. J. Bow- 
man's, for all his hospitality, a wide berth. 

The diary for the next three days so fully covers the 
main events — details of travel and private entertain- 
ment — that it is here set down verbatim: 

Wednesday, 17 th. 

Breakfasted at Willm. Gause's a little out of the direct 
Road 14 miles — crossed the boundary line between No. & 
South Carolina abt. half after 12 o'clock which is 10 miles 
from Gause's — dined at a private house (one Cochran's) 
about 2 miles farther — and lodged at Mr. Vareen's 14 miles 
more and 2 miles short of the long bay. — To this house we 
were directed as a Tavern, but the proprietor of it either did 
not keep one, or would not acknowledge it — we therefore 
were entertained (& very kindly) without being able to make 

Thursday ', i%th. 

Mr. Vareen piloted us across the Swash (which at high wa- 
ter is impassable, & at times, by the shifting of the Sands is 
dangerous) on the long Beach of the Ocean; and it being at a 
proper time of the tide we passed along it with ease and celer- 
ity to the place of quitting it, which is estimated 16 miles, — 
five miles farther we got dinner & fed our horses at a Mr. 
Pauley's a private house, no public one being on the Road; — 
and being met on the Road, & kindly invited by a Doctor 
Flagg to his house, we lodged there; it being about 10 miles 
from Pauley's & 33 from Vareen's. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Friday, 29th. 

We left Doctr. Flagg's about 6 o'clock, and arrived at 
Captn. Wm. Alston's on the Waggamau to Breakfast. 

Captn. Alston is a Gentleman of large fortune and esteemed 
one of the neatest Rice planters in the State of So. Carolina 
and a proprietor of the most valuable ground for the culture 
of this article. — His house which is large, new, and elegantly 
furnished stands on a sand hill, high for the Country, with his 
Rice fields below; the contrast of which with the lands back 
of it, and the Sand & piney barrens through which we had 
passed is scarcely to be conceived. 

Colonel Alston, 1 as he was generally called, lived at 
Clifton house (long since destroyed by fire), standing 
among fine trees, some distance from the Waccamaw 
River, with the rice fields spreading out from the base of 
the hill. " These fields in early spring," says Mrs. St. Ju- 
lien Ravenel, 2 "were covered with the young rice, spring- 
ing green from the dark earth and intersected by innumer- 
able ditches, the water gleaming bright in the sunshine. 
The President was quite unprepared for such perfection of 
cultivation, and, the passion of his life being agriculture, 

1 William Alston, who had been one of Marion's men during the Revolu- 
tion, was now one of the most successful and extensive rice planters in 
South Carolina. He had recently married as his second wife the beautiful 
Mary Motte, daughter of Rebecca Motte, one of the South Carolina 
heroines of the Revolution. He eschewed politics, only once permitting 
himself to be elected to the South Carolina Senate to assist the political 
fortunes of his friend, Thomas Jefferson. By his first marriage, to Miss 
Ashe, daughter of John Baptista Ashe, of North Carolina, he had several 
children, as well as by his second marriage. In a memorable obituary, 
written by his son-in-law, the famous Robert Y. Hayne.weare told that "his 
house was the abode of a refined and elegant hospitality. . . . Courteous in 
his manners, social in his disposition, surrounded with a large circle of 
friends and blessed with an ample fortune, his tastes and habits were for 
many years those of 'a Carolina gentleman of the old school."' (Consult 
Grove: Alston-Alhton Genealogy.) 

2 Charleston, the Place and the People. 



^HHPH; % 

# w 

.'''"■":?'■". '^'''^**^*->X " 

Wilmington and Georgetown 

was delighted. It won from him one of the few enthu- 
siastic remarks reported of him, for he told his hostess that 
it 'looked like fairyland.' And afterwards in Charleston he 
said to the Governor that he had had no idea that any- 
where in America was there such perfection of cultivation 
as he had seen on the large rice rivers which he had 

At Captain Alston's Washington found awaiting him 
General William Moultrie, 1 Colonel William Washington, 2 

1 William Moultrie, born in England, 1731 ; died in Charleston, South 
Carolina, 1805. Served military apprenticeship in campaigns against the 
Cherokees. Colonel of Second Colonial Regiment; also in Continental 
Congress, in 1775. Defended fortress on Sullivan's Island, afterwards 
named for him, against attack by combined land and naval force in 1776. 
Soon afterwards was commissioned brigadier-general in the Continental 
Army. Participated in various engagements. Second in command at de- 
fence of Charleston in 1780. His imprisonment, following its fall, lasted 
nearly two years, when he was exchanged for General Burgoyne. Com- 
missioned major-general by Congress. Governor of South Carolina in 1785 
and in 1794. Author of "Memoirs of the American Revolution so far as it 
related to the States of North and South Carolina and Georgia." In the 
Journal of the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, at the Quarterly 
Meeting, Oct. 1 4, 1 805, appears an obituary notice of Gen. Moultrie, in which 
appear these words: "Bold as Leonidas he defended the strait committed 
to his charge, against a superiority of force, that had been deemed irresistible, 
and more fortunate than the Spartan hero, lived in honourable old age 
under the shades of his laurels, to share with a grateful nation the liberty 
his successful exertion had so happily contributed to establish. . . . His dis- 
position was frank, liberal, sincere; his manners simple and conciliatory." 

7 William Washington, the noted cavalry leader of the Revolution, was 
born in Stafford County, Virginia, February 28, 1752. He was educated for 
the church. Early in the Revolution he received a commission as captain of 
infantry in the Third Regiment of the Virginia line, and served with credit 
in the operations about New York, being severely wounded in the Battle of 
Long Island. Distinguished himself in the Battle of Trenton. After joining 
army of General Lincoln in the South in 1779, he was promoted to command 
of a regiment of dragoons, with rank of lieutenant-colonel, March 23, 1780. 
Was voted a medal by Congress for his gallantry at the Battle of the Cow- 
pens. Later being attached to the army of General Nathanael Greene, he 
took an active part in the battles of Guilford Court House and Hobkirk's 


Washington's Southern Tour 

and Mr. Rutledge, son of the then Chief Justice of South 
Carolina, who had come as a delegation to accompany 
him first into Georgetown, and later into Charleston. 
Colonel Washington was the bearer of the following letter 
to the President from Governor Charles Pinckney : 1 

Hill. At the Battle of Eutaw Springs, September 8, 178 1, he was wounded 
and captured. Towards the close of the Revolution he was married to Jane 
Riley Elliott, who acquired the Sandy Hill estate under the will of her 
father, Charles Elliott, who died in 1781. After the Revolution was elected 
a member of the South Carolina legislature. In 1798, when the United 
States was threatened with war by France, George Washington recom- 
mended the appointment of his kinsman as brigadier-general, which was 
done July 19, 1798. After his marriage, he became a planter. He died at 
Sandy Hill in St. Paul's Parish, South Carolina, March 16, 1810. On the 
occasion of his death the American Revolution Society of South Carolina 
adopted resolutions in which he was spoken of as: " Modest without timid- 
ity, generous without extravagance, brave without rashness, and disinter- 
ested without austerity; which imparted firmness to his conduct and mild- 
ness to his manners, solidity to his judgment and boldness to his achieve- 
ments; which armed him with an equanimity unalterable by the frowns of 
adversity or the smiles of fortune, and steadiness of soul not to be subdued 
by the disasters of defeat or elated by the triumphs of victory." Consult 
H. A. M. Smith: "Grave of Col. William Washington," in South Carolina 
Historical and Genealogical Magazine, x, 243; Garden's Anecdotes; William 
and Mary Quarterly, xv, 132-34. 

1 Charles Pinckney: born in Charleston, South Carolina, 1758; died there 
October 29, 1824. Grandson of William Pinckney and uncle of Charles 
Cotesworth Pinckney. Educated for the bar. Taken prisoner at capture 
of Charleston; remained prisoner until end of war. Elected to Provincial 
Congress in 1785, and subsequently took an active part in preparing a plan 
of government for the United States. In 1787 he was a delegate to the Con- 
stitutional Convention, Philadelphia; presented there the draft of a consti- 
tution, some of the provisions of which were adopted. He advocated ratifica- 
tion of the Constitution in the South Carolina Convention in 1788. Elected 
Governor in 1784, and presided over State Convention by which the South 
Carolina Constitution was adopted in 1790; reelected Governor in 1791, in 
1796, and in 1804. In 1798 chosen United States Senator as, Republican. 
He was an able speaker and one of the most active supporters of Thomas 
Jefferson for the Presidency. In 1802-03 ne was Minister to Spain. He 
strongly favored war with England in 1812. He was founder of the old 
Republican party in South Carolina. Was very liberal in all his views; first 
Governor of State to advocate establishment of free schools. 

Governor Pinckney had a country estate in Christ Church Parish, near 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

Dear Sir, 

Hearing that Colonel Washington will set out in a few days 
to meet you at Waccamaw I take the liberty of acquainting 
you that I have requested General Moultrie to ask the favour 
of yourself & the gentlemen of your family to dine with me 
on the day of your arrival in Charleston — the arrange- 
ments for the other days the General will shew you, & 
I trust they will prove acceptable. You may be assured that 
the people of this country feel themselves on this occasion so 
strongly bound by every principle of gratitude & affection 
that no exertion will be wanting on their part to render your 
stay among us as agreeable as possible. 

In your way down General Moultrie will request you to 
make a stage at a little farm of mine in Christ Church a few 
miles distant from hence. I must apologize for asking you to 
call at a place so indifferently furnished, & where your fare 
will be entirely that of a farm. It is a place I seldom go to, or 
things perhaps would be in better order — but such as they 
are, they are very much at your service, & I hope you will 
consider yourself when there as at home — as soon as I know 
the day you are to be there I shall request a gentleman to go 
over & meet you. 

I am Dear Sir, with esteem 

& respect, much obliged 

Yours truly 

Charles Pinckney 
April 26, 1 791 

Meeting Street. 
From His Excels Gov r Pinckney 

26th April 1791 
Addressed: To the President of the United States 
Honoured by Colonel Washington. 1 

the parish church, called "Fee Farm," later "Snee Farm." It was here 
that the British allowed Colonel C. C. Pinckney to reside for a time, when 
a prisoner of war after the fall of Charles Town. (Consult "The Hon. 
Charles Pinckney, LL.D.," by W. S. Elliott, in De Bow's Review.) 

1 This letter, the original of which is in the Library of Congress, has not 
hitherto, it is believed, been published. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

The whole party dined and lodged at the home of 
Captain Alston, and set out bright and early next morning 
for Georgetown. 

The boats being in readiness, the President and suite 
were rowed across the Waccamaw River, descending it for 
three miles, in an " elegant painted boat " manned by seven 
captains of vessels, dressed in " round hats trimmed with 
gold lace, blue coats, and white jackets." On arriving op- 
posite the market, they were saluted by the artillery, with 
fifteen guns, from the foot of Broad Street. At the land- 
ing the Light Infantry Company — "handsomely uni- 
formed," notes Washington — stood with presented arms; 
and immediately after he passed, fired thirteen rounds. 
It was very lucky that the father of his country had often 
been "in the midst of war's alarms" — otherwise he 
might have proved somewhat gun-shy in times of peace 
from all the firing which went on, often unexpectedly, all 
around him — 

Cannon to right of him, 
Cannon to left of him, 
Cannon behind him 
Volley'd and thunder'd. 

A committee, appointed to receive and address him, now 
conducted him to "an elegant house prepared by the in- 
habitants for his reception" — said to be the old Allston 
house. 1 At two o'clock, he was waited upon by the same 

1 This house, still in a state of good preservation, is situated on Front 
Street, between Wood and King Streets. It is on the water front, that 
is, directly on the Sampit River, toward the western end of the old town. 
The present owners, the Pyatts, are lineal descendants of Benjamin Allston 




































































THf mmy 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

committee, the chairman of which read to him the follow- 
ing congratulatory address of the inhabitants of George- 
town and its vicinity: 


We, the inhabitants of Georgetown, and of its vicinity, beg 
leave to congratulate you upon your safe arrival in South 
Carolina, and to assure you, that having ever entertained a 
high sense of the obligations which you have conferred upon 
your fellow-citizens in general, we are happy to embrace this 
opportunity of testifying to you our particular sentiments of 
gratitude and of affection; We are no less happy, Sir, at being 
called upon by the laws to obey, and to respect as first Magis- 
trate of the Federal Republic, that person, whom of all men 
we were most disposed to revere as our benefactor, and to 
love as the father of his country. Having shared in the dis- 
tresses of the war, and been exposed to those calamities, and 
to that loss of property, which were the consequences of it, we 
have been taught to set a proper value upon the exertions 
which were made in our behalf, we have experienced the happy 
influence of your councils, Sir, and have distinguished you as 
the guardian of our laws, and of our liberties, as an instru- 
ment in the hands of providence to protect our dearest rights, 
and to save us from oppression. The breath of popular ap- 
plause is fleeting, but the merits of such illustrious actions 
can never be effaced; they carry along with them their best 
reward, and we trust, Sir, that in pursuing your progress 
through this state, you will have the satisfaction to perceive a 
spirit of freedom, which your services during the war enabled 

(born 1765), who originally purchased the house from his nephew. This 
Benjamin Allston, who as a lad had served under Marion, was called 
"Big Ben" to distinguish him from the father of Governor Robert 
Francis Withers Allston, who was designated "Little Ben." It is said 
that Dorothy Singleton, widow of Colonel Singleton and second wife of 
Benjamin Allston, was the prototype of the heroine of William Gilmore 
Simms's novel, Katherine Walton. For information concerning this house 
I am indebted to Miss Minnie Tamplet Hazard, of Georgetown. For a 
full description of the house, consult Harriette K. Leiding: Historic 
Houses of South Carolina. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

us to maintain; a degree of order and tranquility, which 
your administration has diffused, and a growing prosperity, 
than which no better proof could exist, of the goodness and 
efficacy of that government, over which you preside. 

Such, sir, are the sentiments with which we approach you 
upon this occasion, and such the sentiments which we shall in 
honor, and in gratitude transmit to our latest posterity. 

Signed by order of the inhabitants of Georgetown, and its 

Hugh Horry 
Joseph Blyth 

E. Rothmaler 

F. Kin loch 
George Keith 
Matthew Irvine 
R. Brownfield 
Samuel Smith l 

1 Hugh Horry was a dashing cavalry officer and partisan leader under 
General Francis Marion. He served brilliantly in many engagements 
throughout the Revolution. In 1782 he was a member of the famous Jack- 
sonborough Convention. 

Joseph Blyth was a large landowner and a prominent citizen of George- 
town. He filled with credit many different offices in the county. He was 
married to Elizabeth Frances, daughter of William and Sabina (Atchison) 
Allston. He is buried in the churchyard of Prince George's parish. 

Erasmus Rothmahler was a descendant of Job Rothmahler, Esq., of 
Charleston, for many years clerk of the Council of South Carolina. He had 
large holdings of land near Georgetown. He was connected with the Wragg 
and Trapier families. 

Francis Kinloch, who studied at Eton and Lincoln's Inn, completed his 
education in France and Switzerland. Handsome, clever, a devotee of soci- 
ety, letters, and art, he was destined for a diplomatic career; but was re- 
called to America on the outbreak of the Revolution. In that war he served 
as aide-de-camp to Generals Huger and Moultrie; and was engaged in the 
fight at Beaufort in 1779, the assault on Savannah, and in other actions. 
In company with his comrade and close friend, Colonel John Laurens, he 
served for a time in the field with Washington. During Simcoe's raid he was 
captured by his cousin, Captain Kinloch of the British army. He was twice 
married: to Mildred, daughter of John Walker, of Castle Hill, in Virginia; 
and to Martha, daughter of Governor John Rutledge, the virtual dictator of 
South Carolina during a critical period of the Revolution. At one time he 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

To this congratulatory address, Washington made the 
following felicitous reply: 1 


I receive your congratulations on my arrival in South- 
Carolina with real pleasure, and I confess my obligations to 
your affectionate regard with sincere gratitude. 

While the calamities, to which you were exposed during 
the war, excited all my sympathy, the gallantry and firmness 
with which they were encountered obtained my entire es- 
teem; to your fortitude in those trying scenes our country is 
much indebted for the happy and honourable issue of the 
contest — from the milder virtues that characterise your 
conduct in peace, our equal government will derive those aids, 
which may render its operations extensively beneficial. 

That your participation of every national advantage, and 
your prosperity in private life, may be amply proportioned to 
your past services and sufferings, is my sincere and fervent 
wish. George Washington. 

Immediately following this ceremony came another — 
conducted by a committee of Masons from Prince George's 
Lodge, No. 16 (Moderns) of Georgetown. "This Lodge," 
says Sachse, "was one of the original six Lodges, which 
had been warrented prior to 1756 in South Carolina, un- 
der the Jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Lodge, and 

was a member of Congress; and in 1800 he published a memoir on Washing- 
ton (quoted elsewhere) whom he had known intimately. He died in Charles- 
ton in 1822, and is buried in St. Michael's churchyard. 

George Keith and Matthew Irvine were both possessed of large tracts of 
land in the vicinity of Georgetown and Charleston. 

Robert Brownfield, then or afterwards of the High Hills of Santee, was 
connected with the Sumter family. 

Samuel Smith, it appears, was a merchant of Georgetown. 

1 The original of Washington's answer, in the handwriting of Major 
Jackson and with Washington's autograph signature, is preserved in the 
archives of the Winyah Indigo Society. For the photographic copy here- 
with reproduced, I am indebted to W. D. Morgan, Esq. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

through it, the Grand Lodge of England. It is the .only 
instance where a Lodge of the 'Moderns' addressed 
Brother Washington." Follows the address: 

To our Illustrious Brother George Washington, 
President of the United States. 

At a time when all men are emulous to approach you to ex- 
press the lively sensations you inspire as the Father of our 
country. Permit us the Brethren of Prince George's Lodge 
No. 1 6 to have our share in the general happiness in welcom- 
ing you to Georgetown, and the pleasure of reflecting that we 
behold in you the liberator of our country, the distributor of 
its equal laws, and a Brother of our most ancient and most 
honorable Order. 

At the same time indulge us in congratulating you on the 
truly honorable and happy situation in which you now stand, 
as the Grand Conductor of the political interests of these 
United States. 

Having by your manly efforts caused the beauteous light 
of liberty to beam on this western hemisphere, and by the 
wisdom Heaven has graciously endowed you with estab- 
lished the liberties of America on the justest and firmest 
basis that was ever yet recorded in the annals of history, 
you now enjoy the supremest of all earthly happiness that 
of diffusing peace, liberty, and safety to millions of your 

As a true reward for your patriotic, noble and exalted serv- 
ices we fervently pray the Grand Architect of the universe 
long to bless you with health, stability, and power to continue 
you the Grand Pillar of the arch of liberty in this vast empire, 
which you have been so eminently distinguished in raising to 
this pitch of perfection at which we now behold it. 

May the residue of your life be spent in ease content and 
happiness, and as the Great Parent of these United States 
may you long live to see your children flourish under your 
happy auspices and may you be finally rewarded with eternal 

We conclude our present address with a fervent wish that 


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lift \M 

Committee from 
Prince George's Lodge. 

Wilmington and Georgetown 

you will continue as you have hitherto been, the friend of our 
ancient and honorable Order, and of all worthy Masons. 

I. White 
R. Grant 
A. Cohen 
Jos. Blyth. 
J. Carson. 
George Town joth April 1791. 1 

To this address, the President made the following brief 

To the Brethren of Prince George's Lodge, No. 16. 

The cordial welcome which you give me to George Town, 
and the congratulations, you are pleased to offer on my elec- 
tion to the chief magistracy receive my grateful thanks. 

I am much obliged by your good wishes and reciprocate 
them with sincerity, assuring the fraternity of my esteem, I 
request them to believe that I shall always be ambitious of 
being considered a deserving Brother. 

G. Washington. 2 

At four o'clock in the afternoon — how hungry Wash- 
ington must have been by this time, not to say thirsty, 
after so long a wait and such long-winded addresses! — he 
"honoured the citizens with his company at a public 
dinner." The following toasts were given: 

1. The United States of America. 

2. The Grand Council of the Union. 

1 Of the above signers, three had served in the War for Independence, 
namely: Isaac White, Lieutenant in North Carolina Militia at King's 
Mountain; Reuben Grant, Ensign in the 6th North Carolina Infantry; and 
Joseph Blythe, Surgeon in 1st North Carolina Regiment; taken prisoner 
at Charleston, May 12, 1789; exchanged June 14, 1789; in 4th North Caro- 
lina in February, 1782, and served to close of war. 

2 Washington MSS.; Letter Book No. II, folio 60-61. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

3. The King of France our great and good ally. 

4. The National Assembly of France. 

5. The memory of Major General Greene. 

6. The memory of M. G. Baron de Kalb. 

7. The other brave officers and soldiers who fell in the war. 

8. The Vice-President of the United States, may the es- 
teem and gratitude of his country be equal to those im- 
portant services which he has, and continues to render 

9. Our ministers in foreign countries. 

10. The Federal Government. 

11. The State of South-Carolina. 

12. The Marquis de la Fayette. 

13. May the nations of the earth enjoy an equal happiness 
with us in having rulers equally sedulous to make them- 
selves acquainted with the true interests and situations 
of the people. 

1 4. The Governors and Legislatures of the respective 

The President then retired, and the following toast was 
given : 

Our Illustrious President, may calmness, peace and fe- 
licity, bless the evening of his life, as his youth and middle 
age have been glorious by the most exalted achievements of 
military renown. 

The day's festivities were closed with a tea-party in the 
afternoon, at which Washington was introduced to about 
fifty ladies who had assembled on the occasion ; (why does 
Washington spell "gentlemen" with a capital G, "ladies" 
with a small /?) and with a ball in the evening which the 
President honored with his company. 

In his diary under date Saturday, April 30th, Washing- 
ton makes the following entry: 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

George Town seems to be in the shade of Charleston — It 
suffered during the War by the British, having had many of 
its Houses burnt. — It is situated on a pininsula betwn. the 
River Waccamaw and Sampton Creek about 15 miles from 
the Sea — a bar is to be passed, over which not more than 12 
feet water can be brot. except at Spring tides; which (tho' the 
Inhabitants are willing to entertain different ideas,) must 
ever be a considerable let to its importance; especially if 
the cut between the Santee and Cooper Rivers, should ever 
be accomplished. 

The Inhabitants of this place (either unwilling or unable) 
could give no account of the number of Souls in it, but I 
should not compute them at more than 5 or 600. — Its chief 
export, Rice. 

Accompanied by Major Thomas Pinckney, 1 his good 
friend and a distinguished American, Washington set out 
at six o'clock on the morning of Sunday, May 1st. The 
President's coach had as outriders on this occasion Gen- 
eral William Moultrie, Colonel William Washington, and 
Mr. Rutledge, son of the Chief Justice of South Carolina. 
The party first crossed the Santee Creek at Georgetown, 
and, after travelling twelve miles, crossed the Santee 
River. They were bound for "Hampton," the home of the 

1 Thomas Pinckney, born in Charleston, October 23, 1750; died there 
November 2, 1828. Educated at Westminster and Oxford. Studied law at 
the Temple, England. Practised law in Charleston. Joined Continental 
Army as lieutenant in 1775; was aide-de-camp to Brigadier-General Lincoln, 
to d'Estaing, and also to General Gates. Was wounded and taken prisoner 
at Camden, and saw no further service. Governor of South Carolina, 1789. 
In 1792 he was appointed by Washington Minister to Great Britain. In 
1794 he was sent on a mission to Spain and arranged the Treaty of San 
Ildefonso. He was Federalist candidate for Vice-President in 1796 and was 
in Congress, 1 799-1 801. Was appointed Major-General by Madison at the 
beginning of the war in 1812; took part in the battle of Horseshoe Bend. 
He succeeded his brother as fourth President General of the Society of the 


Washington's Southern Tour 

widow of Colonel Daniel Horry, who had served during 
the first five years of the Revolution. This lady was 
Harriott Pinckney Horry, the sister of Major Thomas 
Pinckney and General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. 
Her m )ther, who assisted her in entertaining the Presi- 
dent, was the remarkable character known in American 
annals as Eliza Pinckney. 

The coach and cavalcade moved in stately procession up 
the long avenue of a mile or more in length leading to the 
handsome colonial mansion, "Hampton." It was built in 
1730, of yellow pine and cypress, over a brick foundation, 
by Mrs. Daniel Horry, the widow of the French Huguenot 
who came to this country in 1686. Standing a mile east of 
the original Horry house, it faces, says Mrs. Leiding, a 
"wide lawn dotted by those sentinels of the centuries 
which, with the white mansion, its lofty portico and its 
simple, but beautiful pediment supported by heavy 
columns, in its setting of giant oaks hung with Spanish 
moss, make a charming and impressive picture." Upon 
the spacious porch, twenty by forty feet long, stood the 
ladies in the bright garb of summer — Eliza Lucas Pinck- 
ney, famous in our history for charm of personality, force 
of character, and for her notable contribution to agricul- 
ture through the successful introduction of indigo into 
South Carolina; her daughter, Mrs. Horry, the gracious 
hostess; her granddaughter, Harriott Horry, and two other 
granddaughters who made "Hampton" their home, the 
daughters of General C. C. Pinckney. 

After the first greetings were over, the hungry travellers 





Wilmington and Georgetown 

were ushered into the great ballroom, occupying the entire 
east wing of the house and containing an immense carved 
chimney-place lined with Dutch tiles in which, it is said, 
five persons could stand. Here the assembled company sat 
down at a long table, and did full justice to a breakfast con- 
sisting of a most bountiful and palatable "best the country 
could afford." Breakfast over, the party gathered upon 
the spacious veranda or wandered through the grounds. 
The General was rarely entertained by Mrs. Pinckney's 
informing conversation on agriculture and her own suc- 
cessful management of a great rice plantation; and by Mrs. 
Horry's tales of the Revolution — of the "Swamp Fox," 
Marion, who made this home his headquarters while in 
the neighborhood and here once narrowly escaped capture 
by the British; and of Tarleton, who was once quartered 
here and on his departure forgetfully carried off a beau- 
tiful copy of the Baskerville edition of Milton, bound in 
crimson and gold ! 

Pointing to a young and vigorous live-oak growing in 
front of the house, which, after it had grown older and the 
branches spread wide, she thought might greatly obstruct 
the view from the avenue of the fine portico which had just 
been erected, Mrs. Horry informed the General she in- 
tended to cut it down. Looking the spot over carefully, 
the General replied: "Mrs. Horry, let it stay. It can do no 
harm where it is and I would not think of cutting it down." 
This mighty monarch of the forest — just thirty steps 
from the portico and twenty-six feet around at a height 
of six feet above the ground and just below the limbs — 


Washington's Southern Tour 

still stands as a memorial to the man who, in this way, has 
made historic reparation for the traditionary felling of a 
cherry tree early in his career. 1 

Amid such beautiful surroundings and in such charming 
company, Washington doubtless was reluctant to con- 
tinue his journey. But after a sumptuous dinner, the party 
moved on, travelling nineteen miles farther to "Marsh- 
lands," the plantation of that cultured gentleman of 
French Huguenot ancestry, Gabriel Manigault. 2 The 
Manigault family had long been distinguished for culture, 
public service, and patriotism in the social and political 
life of South Carolina. Gabriel Manigault, the grand- 
father of Washington's host, was for many years a pros- 
perous merchant in Charleston, having succeeded to the 
business of his father, Peter. Married to Ann Ashley in 
1730, he became the father of one son, Peter, who studied 
law at the Inner Temple, London, and was three times 
Speaker of the Commons, South Carolina Assembly. He 
died in London, whither he had gone to regain his health, 

1 For information concerning Washington's visit to "Hampton," I am 
indebted to the late Colonel H. M. Rutledge, of McClellansville, South 
Carolina, former owner of "Hampton"; to his son, Archibald Rutledge, 
Esq.; to Mrs. H. K. Leiding, who has made a special study of the historic 
houses of South Carolina; and to the delightful book, Eliza Pinckney, by 
Mrs. St. Julien Ravenel. Doubtless Mrs. Pinckney sided with Washington 
in favor of preserving the tree; for in one of her letters to Mrs. Onslow 
she says: "I look . . . upon an old oak with the reverencial esteem of a 
Druid, it staggered my philosophy to bear with patience the Cuting down 
one remarkable fine tree. . . ." It is worthy of mention that Washington held 
Mrs. Eliza Pinckney in great esteem; and at his own request acted as pall- 
bearer at her funeral in Philadelphia, May 27, 1 793. The Wedgwood break- 
fast set, green and white, of very delicate design, which was used for Gen- 
eral Washington at "Hampton" is still preserved almost intact. 

2 In his diary Washington speaks of him as "Mr. Manigold." 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

in 1773 ; and his father Gabriel dying in 1781, his two sons 
Gabriel and Joseph became heirs to the extensive property 
in business, money, and lands. Washington must have 
been sensibly moved by the touching story of the old 
Gabriel Manigault, himself seventy-five, appearing with 
his grandson, Joseph, aged fifteen, upon the ramparts of 
the defences of Charleston when it was threatened by 
Provost in 1779 — each with a musket on his shoulder, to 
assist in the defence of the city. This Gabriel Manigault 
was Treasurer of the Province of South Carolina; and 
being possessed of a great fortune, he lent to the State the 
sum of two hundred and twenty thousand dollars, most of 
which was never returned. 

The house at "Marshlands," which welcomed Washing- 
ton with open arms, was a fine example of the architecture 
of the period, spacious and imposing, substantially built, 
with a brick basement. Washington's host, Gabriel, who 
had completed his education in Geneva and London, was 
married to the daughter of Ralph Izard, Washington's 
trusted friend, and Alice DeLancey of the distinguished 
New York family. The hostess at "Marshlands" was a 
woman of cosmopolitan culture and experience, having 
spent seven years at school in London, Brussels, and 
Paris. At "Marshlands," she and her husband enter- 
tained with all the gracious charm and lavish hospitality so 
characteristic of the Old South. In this delightful home, 
situated on the Cooper River about six miles from Charles- 
ton, Washington passed a memorable evening — resting 

the night here before beginning the week of strenuous 


Washington's Southern Tour 

gaiety and royal entertainment awaiting him in hospitable 
Charleston. 1 

Among the many eulogies delivered on the occasion of 
Washington's death, that one delivered at Georgetown by 
Francis Kinloch, sometime member of Congress, possesses 
unique interest in its explicit reference to Washington's 
visit which evidently was attended by every demonstra- 
tion on the part of the public, of love for and admiration 
of their Chief Magistrate. The passage in question is 
quoted : 

It is proper in all nations that those who represent the maj- 
esty of the people should be at times encircled with the en- 
signs of authority, and that the splendour of the government 
they administer should be in some measure apparent in their 
persons; and here, my fellow citizens, let me call to your re- 
membrance, for we have possessed him amongst us, let me 
call to your remembrance the plain, and yet dignified deport- 
ment of him whose loss we deplore — it was not a trium- 
phant General who came amongst us, nor yet the semblance 
of a monarch; it was the first magistrate of a free people, it 
was a father who visited his children, who delighted in their 
caresses, and who kindly accepted of their efforts to please, 
and to entertain him. With what joy was he not received, 

1 For interesting accounts of the Manigault family, consult South Caro- 
lina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, xn, 116-77; Transactions of the 
Huguenot Society of South Carolina, No. 4 (1897), 48-84; Ramsay's History 
of South Carolina, sketches at end of work. " Marshlands " remained in the 
Manigault family until comparatively recent years, when it was sold by 
Gabriel Manigault's grandson, the late Dr. Gabriel E. Manigault, Profes- 
sor of Natural History. Taken over by the United States Government as 
part of the Charleston Navy Yard reservation, the house in which Washing- 
ton was entertained has since been thoroughly restored, and is now used as 
quarters for officers of the United States Navy. Washington's host, Ga- 
briel Manigault, was born in 1758, and died in 1 809. His mother was Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Joseph Wragg, Esq., of Charleston; and she was married 
to Peter Manigault in 1755. 


Wilmington and Georgetown 

with what ardour was he not addressed by all ranks and orders 
of people! And how readily does the public imagination 
surround him with trophies of victory, and convert the un- 
adorned vehicle which conveyed him into a car of triumph! 
Behold, said they — but why should I borrow the language 
of admiration? No, let me rather recall your minds to the 
melancholy truth, and let us remember, that the father of his 
country now lies mingled with the dust! The ornaments of 
eloquence are here unnecessary, the simple accents which pro- 
ceed from the heart are alone sufficient — you feel for your- 
selves, your children, your country. 




T is entirely in conformity with classic usage that the ar- 
rival of the hero should be heralded by paeans of praise 
from the poets. One can only regret that the poems were 
not more truly poetic. However, such a poem as the one 
printed below, which was "written on the expected arrival 
of our illustrious president by Michael Forrest," helped 
to create "atmosphere" — whether temperate, torrid, or 
frigid will be left an open question for debate. 

Now let some Shakespear sweep the sounding lyre 
Or some brave Milton with prophetic fire 
And soar aloft with some new strain sublime, 
Beyond the reach of each dull creeping line. 
From High Olympus let the gods descend, 
And to this poet their assistance lend 
While he in strains heroic sings the fame 
Of Washington and gilds his noble name. 
O let the sacred nine their aid diffuse 
In strains sublime t' inspire his chanting muse 
And may his song the sleeping echoes raise 
From their soft slumber to resound his praise. 
Till his glorious theme reaches every soul 
From the arctic to the antarctic pole 
But if a genius with such matchless strain 
Cannot be found to sing our Hero's fame 
The Sons of Freedom will I hope excuse 


This imperfect strain from a willing muse 

Come then ye sacred nine, inspire my song 

With phrase sublime and gliding numbers strong. 

Heroic measure teach me to command 

And justly praise the glory of this land 

George Washington, who though advanced in years, 

Disdained subjection to proud British peers; 

But when his country loudly called him forth, 

Displayed at once his gallantry and worth: 

Of her land forces, took the chief command, 

And wisely ruled them with his martial hand; 

Check'd England's pride — broke her despotic band — 

And gained Freedom for his native land! 

O, could I sing his conduct thro' the whole, 

His feeling heart and sympathetic soul; 

His love of freedom and his martial skill, 

His pride to conquer, his dislike to kill; 

His perseverance in his country's cause 

To banish tyrants and despotic laws; 

And in a word his patriotic zeal 

For his native land and the public weal; 

My glorious theme should then on golden wing 

Thro' foreign climes and distant nations ring! 

But, to do this, requires a wiser hand, 

And higher strains, than I can now command. 

O, may no trifling bard, with creeping lays 

Ever attempt to sing his matchless praise; 

But may some Milton full of lyric sound \ 

Whose matchless strain whole nations will astound > 

To sing his praises speedily be found! ) 

He comes! — He comes! — methinks I see him near; 

Now Columbians raise the joyful cheer! 

Ye sons of Freedom who revere his name, 

Beat loud your drums, and sound the trump of fame! l 

Long before Washington's arrival, the people and the 

1 City Gazette, May 2, 1791. 

Washington* s Southern Tour 

officials of Charleston had been all agog over the great 
event. The honor of Charleston was at stake — partic- 
ularly as this was much the most important city Washing- 
ton was to visit upon his tour. In recognition of Charles- 
ton's preeminence, Washington planned to make the long- 
est stay of his journey in this beautiful city of which 
Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts had written in his diary 
(1773): "This town makes a beautiful appearance as you 
come up to it and in many respects a magnificent one. I 
can only say in general that in grandeur and splendor 
of buildings, decorations, equipages, numbers, commerce, 
shipping, and indeed everything, it far surpasses all I ever 
saw or ever expect to see in America." A very interesting 
letter to Washington from Governor Charles Pinckney 
is here published in full : 

Charleston March 8: 1791 
Dear Sir: 

Upon my return to this City I found your obligating Letter 
of introduction which had been previously left by Col: Trum- 
bull at my house during my absence in attending the meeting 
of the Legislature at Columbia. 

As soon as I am sufficiently recovered from my present in- 
disposition arising from the accident of a fall from my Car- 
riage I shall make a point of seeing him & endeavoring to 
make this place as agreeable to him as possible. I had an idea 
at the conclusion of my term of office to have gone to Europe 
& to have done myself the honor of paying you my respects 
and those of Mrs. Pinckney, as it was my intention to have 
embarked by the way of New York, but the establishment 
of our new Constitution having made me reeligible for two 
years longer, & it seeming to be the general opinion of the 
Legislature that I should continue, my sense of public Duty 
would not permit me to think of refusing — after the end 





however of the present two years I am ineligible for four, 
when I shall endeavor at least to pay a visit to the north- 
ward — in the interim we hope much for the honour of your 
company in this City — it is said you will probably be here 
about the 20th of April — if so permit me to request that you 
will stay at my house during your residence where you may 
be assured no exertions of mine shall be untried to make 
everything as agreeable as we can. On this point suffer me to 
request the favour of a Line from you, as your friends are ex- 
tremely anxious to know whether they are to expect you in 
the Spring or Fall. 

So much has been said on the subject of the Creek Treaty 
& the Assumption of the State Debts that I shall only ob- 
serve to you in confidence that they are both measures which 
very highly meet the approbation, & would I am sure if neces- 
sary, very cheerfully receive the support of this State upon 
every occasion — at least this is my opinion as far as I have 
been able to collect the sentiments of those who are the most 
concerned & who speak the most disinterestedly. 

You will certainly before this have received Mr. Rut- 
ledge's resignation, as a federal judge, on his having been ap- 
pointed Chief Justice of this State — the reasons which in- 
duced this step he has no doubt fully & satisfactorily stated, 
& if the friendship which you have always honored me with 
may be considered as giving me a licence to say so much, 
permit me to wish that his vacancy may be filled by some 
other Gentleman from this State — I do not say this from 
any local or partial motives, but from an idea that the very 
great weight & importance of this country in a commercial 
view will probably engage more of her citizens in concerns 
with foreigners than almost any other State in the Union, & 
that it would I should suppose, always be pleasing to them to 
reflect that when their suits were taken from the tribunal 
& carried to another acting under a different authority, that 
still a citizen of their own was one of the Judges — but to 
your better Judgement this is very properly left & I trust 
your goodness will excuse my even having said as much as 
I have — I know the people of this country wish it — so 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

do I — but both they & I ought with pleasure to acquiesce as 
I am sure I shall in any appointment you may conceive 

With my best wishes for your health & happiness I am 
with respect and Regard 

Dear Sir 

Yours Truly 

Charles Pinckney 
(Endorsed) From 
His Exy Gov r Pinckney 
8th Mar. 1791 

In accordance with his fixed rules concerning accepting 
hospitalities, Washington declined Governor Pinckney's 
invitation to be his guest throughout his entire visit, but 
accepted his hospitality : first in breakfasting at his country 
seat, "Fee Farm," also the same day dining at the Gov- 
ernor's (in what he called a private way) "with 15 or 18 
gentlemen," and finally being entertained later in the 
week at a magnificent reception at the Governor's house 
in Meeting Street. 

A correspondent writing from Charleston (April 7th) 
says: "We are making great preparations for the reception 
of the President of the United States. — There is to be a 
ball on the night of his arrival. — What think you of ioo £ : 
for the rent of a barn six or eight days ? Sixty pounds was 
the lowest it could be obtained for — however I tell them 
it is wrong to engage one — as the President will not 
deviate from his rule, which is, not to take private 
lodgings." The house chosen for Washington's enter- 
tainment, as Charles Fraser relates in his "Reminis- 
cences," was "that large three-story house in Church 



Street, a few doors north of Tradd, then owned by Judge 
Heyward, and said to be superbly furnished for the occa- 
sion." This house, still standing, is now a bakery, although 
the owner declares he would never have turned it to such 
utilitarian uses had he known that it once housed the illus- 
trious Washington. Day after day articles appeared in the 
local newspapers recommending that various preparations 
be made — such as that the " commissioners of the roads 
would display an equally laudable spirit [as that of all 
others] by having the roads and bridges put in proper 
repair, which in some places are almost impassable"; and 
that the citizens of Charleston appoint "a committee from 
each of their respective professions, to join and consider a 
mode for forming a procession to meet and receive our 
great and good President on landing in this city, similar to 
the one which was formed on the adoption of the federal 
constitution." Such a committee was appointed ; and the 
report which follows exhibits the high seriousness and 
civic pride with which the citizens regarded Washington's 
approaching visit. The prudence which the occasion de- 
manded was exhibited in the additional printed request of 
the Intendant and Warders that " the citizens will, not on 
the approaching occasion, exhibit any fireworks or illu- 
minations within the city, as from the long, dry weather, 
the shingles and wooden buildings are rendered highly in- 
flammable." 1 

1 Notices from time to time appeared in the City Gazette, of which the fol- 
lowing are specimens: 

Thursday, April list. 
A committee from the city council appointed to meet the several com- 


JVashi?igtori*s Southern Tour 

The lavish preparations being made by the city of 
Charleston for the entertainment of the Nation's Chief 
Magistrate attracted wide and favorable attention 
throughout the country — a circumstance indicative of 
the universal desire to accord Washington the highest con- 
ceivable honors. In the "American Daily Advertiser" of 
Philadelphia, for example, appeared the striking commen- 

A philosopher, who has contemplated with due seriousness; 
the aggregate of incidents which have combined to present a 
novel character, in the history of this chequered planet, its 
heroes and its monarchs, cannot resist some flow of praise, 
but rather indulge the stream of panegyric on that ardour we 
see every hour displayed by the citizens of Charleston to re- 
ceive the President of the United States with magnificence 
which his presence will adorn, and with that liberality and 
splendour which is eminently their characteristics. Every 
head and every hand are anxiously occupied, each in their 
proper station, from the governor to the mechanic, devising 
and executing such preparatory plans as may brighten the 
lustre of hospitality and display their sensibility and affec- 
tionate reverence, not only for virtue so rare, but for quali- 
ties "taken all in all" without any parallel in the annals of 
the human species. 

mittees from the different professions and occupations will attend at the 
State house this morning at nine o'clock to confer with them in forming the 
line of procession to receive the president of the United States. 

Tuesday, April lyth. 

The members of the society of the Cincinnati established in this State 
intend to pay every respect and honor due to the president of the United 
States on his arrival in this city; it is therefore to be hoped that those mem- 
bers who may be in the country, will make it a point to be in town at or be- 
fore the ioth instant, the time when the president may be expected. 

April 1 8//?. 

Friday, April lid. 

The list of arrangement, taken by ballot from which the different pro- 
fessions and handicrafts are to form the procession, on the president's ar- 







The character and magnitude of Charleston's prepara- 
tions raised misgivings in the minds of some, however; 
and the charges of monarchist tendencies which Jefferson 
was always flinging about find their echo in this protest, 
which appeared in the "Independent Gazette, and Agri- 
cultural Repository" (April 30, 1791) of Philadelphia: 
"We find by the southern papers that the President, on 
his journey, is still perfumed with the incense of addresses. 
However highly we may consider the character of the 
Chief Magistrate of the Union, yet we cannot but think 
the fashionable mode of expressing our attachment to the 
defender of the liberty of his country, savors too much of 
monarchy to be used by Republicans or to be received with 
pleasure by a President of a Commonwealth." 

The coming of Washington was heralded by brief no- 
tices in the "City Gazette." On April 30th appeared the 
first notice: 

By an express who arrived yesterday from Georgetown 
with dispatches to the intendant of this city, we learn that 
the President of the United States was to have been at Wil- 
mington on the 24th instant, and that he was expected in 
Georgetown yesterday. From whence it is concluded that 
this illustrious personage will arrive in this city on Wednes- 
day next. 

On Monday, 2d, appeared the following: 

rival, is left at the printing office for the government of those who intend 
joining the procession. 

Thursday, April l%th. 

The standing committee, the committee of arrangements and the other 
members of the Cincinnati, are requested to meet this evening at 6 o'clock 
at McCrady's tavern, on business of particular moment to the Society. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

From undoubted authority we learn that the President of 
the United States was at George town on the 30th and was to 
dine yesterday at Mrs. Horry's. That he intends being in 
town this day by 1 o'clock and dine in a private manner with 
his Excellency, the Governor. 

The streets being very dry, the citizens are requested to 
sweep and water before their respective houses early this 

The committee of arrangements for the Cincinnati request 
the members to meet this day at ten o'clock precisely at Mc- 
Crady's tavern in their full uniform. 

The celebration of the anniversary of the St. Tammany 
Society, which was to have been held this day, is postponed 
to a future day, of which timely notice will be given. 

Even the local versifiers burst forth in patriotic poems — 
notably the long-forgotten (and just as well!) "Address 
to General Washington on his arrival in Charleston, from 
*Liberty " 1 [Please note the arresting asterisk referring 
to fetching allusions in the poem itself] : 

Address To 

On his arrival in Charleston, 

from *Liberty. 

With peals extatic let the welkin ring, 

To hail th' approach of him that's more than king; 

For having made a gallant people free, 

He scorn'd to grasp at regal tyranny; 

In war he for them having freedom gain'd, 

He still their guardian in peace remain'd; 

His care paternal of their rights & laws, 

From every grateful heart demands applause; 

1 City Gazette, May 3, 1791. 


Prudence and courage form my hero's mind, 
To every change of fate alike resign'd; 
The virtues which illume his daring soul, 
Have spread his fame from Indus to the pole. 

Then welcome Washington by *me designed, 
To make my name rever'd by all mankind; 
To snatch the scourge from oppressions hand, 
And spread my blessings o'er an injur'd land; 
Thy Carolina free'd made great by thee, 
T' express her grateful thanks commissions me; 
With gratitude each gen'rous bosom beats, 
Thy glorious actions every tongue repeats; 
The mighty league thro' thee shall be rever'd, 
Its friendship courted, its resentment fear'd, 
The stripes and stars perpetuate thy fame, 
And children yet unborn shall bless thy name; 
Follow the glorious course thou hast begun 
And prove thyself *my best, my darling son. 
When thou hast pass'd th' inevitable doom, 
Immortal honors shall adorn thy tomb; 
And when thy mortal part to Earth is given, 
A cherubim shall waft thy soul to heaven. 

The scene of Washington's arrival at Charleston is the 
brightest, liveliest picture in the gay panorama of the 
Southern tour. When Washington, accompanied by 
Major Jackson, reached Haddrel's Point — just across 
the Cooper River from Charleston — he is greeted most 
warmly by the Honorable John Bee Holmes, 1 Recorder to 

1 John Bee Holmes, son of Isaac and Rebecca Holmes, was born April 
22, 1760. While still a lad he bore arms in the American Revolution; and 
was an officer in the Charleston Regiment of Militia. In the disastrous at- 
tack upon Savannah in 1779, in which he was slightly wounded, he bore the 
mortally wounded Count Pulaski from the field. He served during the 
siege of Charleston; and after the surrender was imprisoned on the prison- 
ship Pack Horse with the other officers of his regiment. This was regarded 


Washington's Southern Tour 

the city, in his official robes, General Charles Cotesworth 
Pinckney, 1 Major-General William Moultrie, Major Ed- 

ns an act of barbarity, as the ship had recently been used as a smallpox 
hospital. As soon as he came of age, he was admitted to the bar. As a 
voting man he served in the South Carolina Legislature. He won high 
reputation for ability as a criminal lawyer. "The friendships of the most 
enlightened men in the State," it is stated in an obituary in the Charlestown 
Courier, "were the first fruits of his manliness and intelligence." On Wash- 
ington's visit, he steered a boat rowed by eight American captains to meet 
the President. On November 19, 1783, he was married to Elizabeth Ed- 
wards, daughter by his first wife of John Edwards, Mrs. Isaac Holmes's 
second husband. They had thirteen children. He died very suddenly on 
September 5, 1827. 

1 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was born in Charleston February 25, 1746; 
died there August 16, 1825. Educated at Westminster, Christ Church, Ox- 
ford (England); read law in Middle Temple. Nine months Royal Military 
Academy, Caen, France. Attorney-General of South Carolina; Member of 
first Provincial Congress of South Carolina, 1775; Captain and Major and 
Colonel of infantry; aide-de-camp to Washington; took part in the battles 
of Brandywine and Germantown. Presided over South Carolina Senate, 
1779; active in many battles; in council of war he voted "for the rejection 
of all terms of capitulation and for continuing hostilities to the last extrem- 
ity." He was taken prisoner on the surrender of Charleston, May, 1780, 
remaining in rigorous confinement for two years. Exchanged, February, 
1782; commissioned Brigadier-General, 1782. He was a member of the 
convention that framed the Constitution of the United States in 1787. 
He became a Federalist and served in the convention that ratified it for 
South Carolina; and in the State Constitutional Convention, 1790. In 
1 79 1 he declined the office of Associate Justice of the United States Su- 
preme Court; in 1784, the portfolio of War, and in 1795 that of State. In 
1796 he accepted the position of United States Minister to France; but that 
Government refused to receive him. Federalist candidate for Vice-Presi- 
dent, 1800, and for President in 1804 and 1808. At a special meeting of 
the South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, held at the court-house, 
August 18, 1825, the Honorable William Drayton delivered an obituary 
address in which appear the following words: "His life was extended to 
extreme old age, yet did he so conduct himself through its whole dura- 
tion, as not only to obtain the applause of the wise and good, but what 
is seldom the lot of the illustrious, in such a manner as to avoid the slan- 
ders of envy, and the vindictiveness of malice. . . . His was the rare felicity 
of running an unbroken career of virtue and usefulness; honoured and hon- 
ourable from the vernal bloom of youth, to the maturity of manhood and 
the frosts of age." Writing of him, with reference to availability for com- 
mander-in-chief of the United States Army, Washington (winter of 1791- 






ward Rutledge, 1 Colonel William Washington, and Colo- 
nel Dart, to the accompaniment of the enthusiastic cheers 
of the many who have come to attend him across the river 
to Charleston. Entering the elegant twelve-oared barge 
prepared for the purpose, Washington is rowed across the 
river by thirteen masters of American vessels, namely: 
Captain Cochran (cockswain, as senior officer), Cross, 
Moore, Milligan, Kean, Rea, Lawrence, Drinker, Swain, 
Congers, Dickenson, Crowly, and Connolly, who were uni- 
formly and neatly dressed ("most elegantly dressed," re- 
cords Washington) in light blue silk jackets and round 
black hats decorated with blue ribbons on which were im- 
pressed the arms of South Carolina. Properly disposed in 
two boats close behind were the gentlemen of the Ama- 
teur Society who, assisted by Mr. Palmer, Mr. James 
Badger, Mr. Jonathan Badger, and Mr. Harris, with the 

92) records: "A Colonel since SeptT 16th 1776; but appointed a Brigadr. by 
brevet, at the close of the War, only. — In this Gentleman many valu- 
able qualities are to be found. — He is of unquestionable bravery — Is a 
man of strict honor, erudition & good sense: and it is said has made Tac- 
itus a study." 

1 On this tour occurred a remarkable and unique episode. Washington, 
writing from Camden, South Carolina, May 24, 1791, addressed the follow- 
ing letter to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Edward Rutledge: 


An address to you jointly, on a subject of the following nature, may have 
a singular appearance; but that singularity will not exceed the evidence, 
which is thereby given of my opinion of, and confidence in you, and of the 
opinion I entertain of your confidence and friendship for each other. 

The office lately resigned by Mr. John Rutledge, in the supreme judi- 
ciary of the Union, remains to be filled. Will either of you two gentlemen 
accept it? And, in that case, which of you? It will occur to you, that ap- 
pointments to office in the recess of the Senate are temporary; but of their 
confirmation in such a case there can be no doubt. 

It may be asked, why a proposition similar to this has never been made 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

choir of St. Philip's Church, made the air sweet with the 
strains of music, both vocal and instrumental, and de- 
lighted the gay throng of richly dressed ladies and gen- 
tlemen in more than forty boats who laughed and chat- 
tered gaily — rather than listening in silence to the music 
— on the passage across the river. But all listened in- 
tently to the chorus of voices in the song: 

He comes! he comes! the hero comes. 
Sound, sound your trumpets, beat your drums, 
From port to port let cannons roar, 
His welcome to our friendly shore. 

Prepare, prepare, your songs prepare, 
Loud, loudly rend the echoing air, 
From pole to pole this praise resound, 
For virtue is with glory crowned. 

As the gay flotilla approached Prioleau's Wharf, at the 
foot of Queen Street, numbers of other boats came to meet 
and greet the welcome visitor; and cannon boomed a 
salute in handsome style. 1 As the tall and majestic Wash- 
to you before. This is my answer. Your friends, with whom I have often 
conversed on like occasions, have always given it as their decided opin- 
ion, that no place at the disposal of the general government could be a 
compensation for the relinquishment of your private pursuits, or, in their 
belief, would withdraw you from them. In making the attempt, however, 
in the present instance, I discharge my duty, and shall await your an- 
swer (which I wish to receive soon) for the issue. Of my sincere esteem 
and regard for you both, I wish you to be persuaded, and that I am, Gen- 
tlemen, &c. 

G. Washington 

In a joint reply, Mr. Pinckney and Mr. Rutledge declined accepting the 
proposed appointment. For the grounds of their declination, consult 
Sparks's Washington, xn, p. 165, footnote. 

1 An eye-witness thus describes the scene: "There was such concourse of 
all ranks on board the several vessels hauled close to the shore as is almost 



ington alighted from his barge and walked up the specially 
erected stairway covered with green cloth, he was accorded 
official greetings by Governor Charles Pinckney, Lieuten- 
ant-Governor Isaac Holmes, Intendant Vanderhorst, the 
members of the City Council, by name of Mr. Morris, 
Colonel Mitchell, Mr. Corbett, Mr. Beckman, Captain 
North, Mr. Cripps, Mr. Lee, Mr. Cole, Mr. Brownlee, Dr. 
Payas, Dr. Harris, and Mr. Robertson, and by the State 
Society of the Cincinnati. 1 With solemn mien, the benig- 
nant-looking Intendant stepped forward and said : 

The Intendant and Wardens beg leave, Sir, to welcome you 
to this city. It will be their care to make your stay agree- 
able — they have provided accomodations for yourself and 
suite to which they will be happy to conduct you! 

With formal dignity the President acknowledged the 
greeting and bade them lead on. The Fusilier Company 2 
then opened their files, and enclosed the following order 

beyond description. From superannuated old age to lisping infancy. The 
crowd was so great there was scarce room to move! On the illustrious per- 
sonage's approach to the shore, such a buz of approbation — such a shout 
of joy, took place as that one must see and hear all to have anything like an 
adequate idea of it. The shore, the streets, the windows, the balconies, all 
were so crowded, so beset with spectators, that the most attentive ob- 
server must fail in an attempt to do justice to the splendid aspect of the 

1 "The uncommonly large concourse of citizens," says a writer in the 
Gazette, " testified their happiness on the arrival of their chief magistrate by 
reiterated shouts of joy and satisfaction — the Charleston battalion of ar- 
tillery saluted him with discharges from their field pieces, the bells of St. 
Michael's Church were rung, and the shipping in the harbour displayed 
their colors during the day." 

2 The German Fusiliers were organized as a militia company during the 
Revolution and served with distinction both in that war and in the War 
between the States. "Their successors," said D. E. Huger-Smith in a letter 
to me, October 31, 1918, "are to-day serving on the French front in the 
30th Division of Pershing's Army." 


Washington's Southern Tour 

of procession which moved towards the Exchange, with 
colors flying, drums beating, fifes playing: 

The Sheriff of the City bearing the mace 

Messenger and Marshall 

Treasurer and Clerk 


The Wardens, two and two, bearing their wands 

The Intendant with his wand 

The President and suite 

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor 

Aids to his Excellency the Governor 

Civil Officers of the State 

Civil Officers of the United States 

President of the Senate 


Citizens two and two 

Officers of the Militia 

Members of the Cincinnati. 

Banners with "sentiments" inscribed thereon were prom- 
inent in the procession; and perhaps the most notable in- 
scription was that on the banner borne by M. Ransier, 
gunsmith of Charleston: 

Arma sunt necessaria 

Vis vim repellere licet 

Titus vixit pro ipsis 

Georgius Washington vivit pro suis 

Utinam Nestoris annos recipiat. 

On reaching the Exchange, the President was conducted 
to the platform within the grand balustrade of the Ex- 
change, fronting the Broad Street, where he stood to 






await the salutes and discharges from the field artillery. 
He then reviewed the procession as it passed along; and 
"politely and gravely bowed" in recognition of the salu- 
tations of respect which were rendered to him. The order 
of the procession was now reversed; the President was es- 
corted to Major Heyward's house, which had been hired 
from Mrs. Jamieson by the Corporation for his entertain- 
ment. 1 The "elegant habitation" was ornamented in 
front by lamps, and over the portal was a triumphal arch. 

1 The following minutes of the Proceedings of the City Council are 
worthy of record: 

Wednesday, 27th April, 1791. — The Hon. Arnoldus Vanderhorst, In- 
tendant; Col. Mitchell, Mr. Morris, Mr. Corbett, Dr. Harris and Mr. Mar- 
shall, Committee to make the necessary arrangements for the reception 
and entertainment of George Washington, Esq., President of the United 
States, on his arrival in the City of Charleston, reported, and the said re- 
port being read, Ordered, That the said report be taken into consideration 
immediately, and the same being again read, was agreed to as follows, viz.: 
The Intendant and Committee appointed to make the necessary arrange- 
ments for the reception and entertainment of George Washington, Esq., 
President of the United States, on his arrival in Charleston, recommend 
that the house of Thos. Heyward, Esq. in Church Street, at present in the 
occupation of Mrs. Rebecca Jamieson, be taken for the use of the President 
during his residence in this city, together with the furniture, for which the 
sum of £60 be paid, it being the lowest rate at which the said house can be 
procured. They recommend Mrs. Frances Ramadge for House-keeper, and 
Margaret Daniel, with other necessary servants for the house, to be paid by 
the Corporation. Major Peter Bocquet having offered his Barge and Mr. 
Paul Pritchard agrees to lengthen and put it in thorough repair, gratis, for 
the purpose of conveying the President of the United States from Had- 
drel's Point or Hobcau Ferry to the city. Capt. Cochran and twelve other 
masters of American vessels, viz: Jacob Milligan, Geo. Cross, Charles 
Crawley, John Connely, Henry Laurence, Thos. Kean, Jeremh. Dickenson, 
Luke Swain, Thos. Blundel, Wm. Conyers, James Rea, John Drinker, 
to be handsomely dressed at their own expense, will serve as a volunteer 

The Committee advise that their offers be accepted, and that the Re- 
corder in his Robes be directed to attend and present the Barge in the name 
of the Corporation, to the President at Haddrel's Point, for his accomo- 
dation and conveyance to the city; they also advise that the Custom House 


Washington's Southern Tour 

During the procession from the wharf to the Exchange 
and then to his lodgings, the President "with the greatest 
politeness and attention bowed uncovered to the brilliant 
assemblage of spectators of both sexes to the right and to 
the left." "The lodgings provided for me in this place 
were very good," records Washington in his diary, "being 
the furnished house of a Gentleman at present in the 
Country; but occupied by a person placed there on pur- 
pose to accommodate me, & who was paid in the same 
manner as any other letter of lodgings would have been 

barge and the Fort boat be procured to assist in bringing over any gentle- 
men who may accompany the President, and that a temporary pair of 
stairs be placed at such wharf as may be appointed for his landing. 

The Intendant and Committee recommend that a Dinner be given to the 
President, and such other gentlemen as the Council shall think proper to 
invite. Mr. Williams of the Coffee House, having made proposals to pro- 
vide a good Dinner, for six shillings for each person, with a handsome De- 
sert; the best Madeira wine for 5s. per bottle, and other Liquors as usual, 
but that he cannot find Tables, Seats and Sconces or Candlesticks; it is 
recommended that his proposals be accepted, and that the Exchange be 
suitably fitted up with Tables, Chairs, Benches, Sconces and awnings. 

It is further recommended that the City Hall be put into proper order, 
for the purpose of giving a Ball to the President, and the Ladies of the city, 
with such gentlemen as the Council shall think proper to invite, and that a 
genteel Supper be provided on the occasion. 

The Intendant and Committee further recommend, that a proper stock 
of liquors, groceries, and provisions, be laid in for the use of the President 
and his suite, while in the city, and that his horses be properly provided 
with stables, hay, corn and oats. 

They further recommend, that the Bells of St. Michael's Church be put 
in repair, and proper persons employed for the purpose of ringing a Peal, 
on the approaching joyous occasion, to be paid by the Corporation. 

As a mark of distinction to the Intendant and Wardens, it is recom- 
mended that handsome black varnished Wands three-quarters of an inch 
diameter, and six feet long, be provided. The Intendant's Wand to have 
a gold head, and the Wardens' silver heads, with the cypher C. C. L. on 
each to be used on this and other public occasions. 

Lastly, they recommend that the expenses which may be incurred in car- 
rying the foregoing or any other necessary arrangements into execution, 
may be defrayed by the Corporation. 



paid." * Here he received the "warm congratulations of 
several of the most respectable characters in the State"; 
and was individually introduced to the officials of the Cor- 
poration, the members of the Cincinnati, and the officers 
of the Charleston Battalion of Artillery. 2 While the Pres- 
ident removed the stains of travel and made ready for 
dinner at the Governor's, the City Council retired to the 
Council Chamber, where an address to the President from 
the Corporation, which had been previously prepared, was 

1 On May 23, 1901, a bronze tablet on the front of Thomas Heyward's 
husoe in Church Street, then owned by H. W. Fuseler, was unveiled with 
appropriate ceremonies, the orator of the day being Professor Yates Snow- 
den, of the University of South Carolina, who spoke in Hibernian Hall. 
The tablet was the gift of Mrs. Edward Willis, Vice-Regent of Rebecca 
Motte Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, of the City of 
Charleston. The tablet, of diamond shape, bears the inscription: 


His Visit 

To Charleston 

May 1791 

The Guest of the Citizens 


George Washington 

Was entertained in this House 

This Memorial erected by a Daughter 

of the 

American Revolution 

A Charter Member 

May 1 90 1 

Consult The Exposition, August, 1901. For the text of Professor Snow- 
den's address see Charleston News and Courier, May 26, 1901. Also consult 
News and Courier, May 24, 1901. 

2 The Charleston Battalion of Artillery was a militia command organized 
about 1757. Throughout the Revolution until the fall of Charleston in 
1780, the services of this military organization were continuous and credit- 
able. At the fight on Port Royal Island in 1777 its two companies were 
commanded by Edward Rutledge and Thomas Heyward, Jr., both signers 
of the Declaration of Independence. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

read and agreed to. It was then "Ordered, that the Re- 
corder do wait on the President of the United States, to 
know when he would be pleased to receive the Corpora- 
tion, with their address," and the Recorder, on his return, 
informed the Council that the President would receive the 
City address the next afternoon at three o'clock. 

At five o'clock that afternoon (May 2d), the President 
dined with the Governor, at his house in Meeting Street 
"(in what he called a private way) with 15 or 18 Gentle- 
men." A description of the Pinckney house, recorded by 
Fraser, gives color and atmosphere to the picture: 

His collection of Paintings, statuettes, medals, etc., ren- 
dered his house almost a museum. His fine library occupying 
an entire suite of three large rooms, the floor and windows of 
which were richly carpeted and curtained, while the ceilings 
were worked with classic representations — is supposed to 
have contained near twenty thousand of the most rare and 
choice books collected from every part of the Continent and 
in every known language. The old gentleman was accus- 
tomed to receive his friends in a room peculiarly his own — 
two large old fashioned richly carved and covered chairs 
stood on either side of the fireplace while a table of ebony 
wood inlaid with mosaic occupied the centre; Ben Franklin's 
bust over the door; and in beautiful fresco Ganymede flying, 
with his cup worked on the ceiling; a heavy carved mahogany 
case occupied one corner, in which cake and wine were kept, 
and on the arrival of a visitor always were placed before him. 
This room overlooked a garden of choicest flowers in which 
were to be seen two beautiful flamingoes with their rich plum- 

It was in this very house, that, when the third time Gov- 
ernor of the State, he entertained General Washington in a 
style and manner which has come down to our day — the 
whole of the large mansion was thrown open and illuminated 






by varied colored lights which burned night and day, the 
garden was arranged as a promenade — there with music, 
viands and the dance time was cheated for a week. 

It is characteristic of Washington that, after a day of 
great exertion, which must have taxed him severely, he 
should nevertheless find time to record before retiring 
some observations on geography and agriculture : 

It may as well in this as in any other place, be observed, 
that the Country from Wilmington through which the Road 
passes, is, except in very small spots, much the same as what 
has already been described; that is to say, sand & pine barrens 
— with very few inhabitants — we were indeed informed that 
at some distance from the Road on both sides the land was of 
a better quality, & thicker settled, but this could only be on 
the Rivers & larger waters — for a perfect sameness seems to 
run through all the rest of the Country — on these — espe- 
cially the swamps and low lands on the Rivers, the Soil is 
very rich; and productive when reclaimed; but to do this is 
both laborious and expensive. — The Rice planters have two 
modes of watering their fields — the first by the tide — the 
other by resurvoirs drawn from the adjacent lands. — The 
former is best because most certain. — A crop without either 
is precarious, — because a drought may not only injure, 
but destroy it. — Two and an half and 3 barrels to the Acre is 
esteemed a good Crop and 8 or 10 Barrls. for each grown hand 
is very profitable; but some have 12 & 14, whilst 5 or 6 is reck- 
oned the average production of a hand — a barrel contains 
about 600 weight and the present price is about 10/6 & 11/ 
Sterg. pr. 100. 

It will be recalled that the son of the Chief Justice, 
John Rutledge, 1 had gone to meet the President at " Snee" 

1 John Rutledge, born in Charleston, 1739; died there, 1800. Educated 
for the bar at the Temple, London. Opposed Stamp Act, advocated colo- 
nial union (1765). "By far the greatest orator," according to Patrick Henry, 
in first Continental Congress. President of the Provincial Government of 
South Carolina (1776) and head of military forces. Resigned governorship 


Washington's Southern Tour 

farm, the country estate of Governor Charles Pinckney, 
and attended him thence into the city. The Chief Justice 
had previously made his apologies to the President for his 
absence on the circuit in the following letter: 

D r Sir — 

I am extremely sorry, that official Duty l prevents (which 
nothing but indispensable Necessity should), my going, with 
my Son to meet you, at the Boundary-Line of North Caro- 
lina; He will do himself the Honour of waiting on you, from 
thence. And I flatter myself, that I shall have an opportunity 
of paying my Respects, to you, in Person, on you Tour thro' 
the upper Country, (where I must be for several Weeks, on 
the Circuit), & of joining my fellow Citizens there, in ex- 
pressing, and testifying those Sentiments of Affection for 
your Person, & Veneration for your character, which pre- 
vail in every part of this State, as much as in any part of the 
United States. 

I have the Honour to be, with the greatest Esteem & 

" ' Y- obliged & most obed- Serv- 

The President of the United States of America J. RuTLEDGE / 

(Endorsed) From the Hon^ e Jn? Rutledge / 
15th Ap! 1791 

in 1778, reelected in 1779. When Charleston was besieged by the British in 
1780, he supported Council proposal to make South Carolina neutral during 
remainder of Revolution. Convened legislature at Jacksonborough in 1782. 
Member of Congress, 1782-83; and in 1784, after declining mission to The 
Hague, appointed Chancellor of South Carolina. Member of the conven- 
tion that framed the Constitution. Declined post of Justice of the United 
States Supreme Court, to accept that of Chief Justice of Supreme Court 
of South Carolina. On July 1, 1795, was appointed Chief Justice of the 
United States, over which he presided at the-August term; but his nomi- 
nation was not confirmed owing to mental alienation. 

1 The Court of Chancery prior to 1791 was held only at Charleston for 
the whole State. In that year the judges of the court were by statute di- 
rected to hold courts at stated times in Columbia and Ninety-Six as well, 
and it was permitted to any one judge to make all interlocutory orders pre- 
vious to final decree, which could only be made by the whole court. After 
the resignation of John Rutledge, the last Chief Justice under the old law, 
no other Chief Justice was elected, but the judges of the State were all 



In his absence, Mrs. Rutledge * did the honors of the 
occasion — the President accepting her hospitality by 
breakfasting with her on the morning of Tuesday (3d). 
At two o'clock in the afternoon the President held a levee 
"at which were present a number of ladies and gentlemen 
of the greatest respectability." 2 The President's diary — 

called Associate Judges, and writs were tested in the name of the senior 
Associate Justice for the time being. 

1 Eliza Grimke, wife of John Rutledge, Governor of South Carolina and 
known as "the Dictator," was born November 29, 1741. She was the 
daughter of Frederick Grimke, who in 1733 at the age of twenty-eight em- 
igrated from Germany; and in 1737 was married to Martha Emms William- 
son. Hedied October 20, 1778. By her marriage to John Rutledge (May 1, 
1763), Eliza Grimke had five sons and two daughters. When the officers de- 
fending Fort Moultrie against British attack advised its evacuation, John 
Rutledge is credited with saying: "You will not do so without an order 
from me and I would sooner cut off my right hand than write one." Eliza 
Grimke died June 7, 1792. 

2 John Rutledge was a warm friend and sincere admirer of Washington, 
and never permitted him to be attacked or slandered in his presence. In his 
unpublished diary (Paris, 1787), Rutledge describes a dinner-party he at- 
tended in England, at the house of a nobleman, Sir John S , a large com- 
pany being present. During the course of the dinner, one of the guests de- 
scribed in detail the hanging of a political prisoner, Argill, at Washington's 
orders, with many reflections on Washington. "When Mr. G. had fin- 
ished," records Rutledge, " I said that I was an American. That I had the 
honor of knowing General Washington, and was well acquainted with 
all the circumstances attached to Mr. Argill's case. That out of regard 
to Truth, as well as respect for Genl. Washington's character (which had 
been very much questioned on this occasion), I came forward to declare 
that the whole of Mr. G.'s information was false, and that no one circum- 
stance had happened as by him related. I said I was sure that Mr. G. could 
not have got his information from Captain Argill, for that I was persuaded 
that whenever he mentioned the affair, that also he must have mentioned 
the great delicacy and kindness with which he was treated not only by Genl. 
Washington but by all the different officers to whose charge, during his con- 
finement, he had been committed. Every body at table seemed pleased with 
the part I had acted, and I was begged to tell the story — which I did. 

" But very differently from what Mr. G. had done. I concluded by saying 
that I had not related it as a thing I merely believed but which I knew to be 
a fact. And that I would let the credit of my information rest on the word 
of Mr. G.'s brother, a gentleman I had not the honor to know, but who 


Washington's Southern Tour 

written under extraordinarily trying conditions, during 
snatches of rest between balls, parties, receptions, and 
addresses, is very dry and succinct, for the most part. But 
on this occasion a touch of real emotion succeeds in trans- 
ferring itself to the page of the little diary book: "Was 
visited about 2 o'clock by a great number of the most re- 
spectable ladies of Charleston — the first honor of the 
kind I had ever experienced and it was as flattering as it 
was singular." Not Jefferson himself could have expressed 
more deftly or tersely the sense of combined gratification 
and surprise which Washington has here expressed in the 
last eight words. While these festivities were under way, 
the City Council met according to adjournment and pro- 
ceeded to the President's house where, at three o'clock, 
His Honor the Intendant, Amoldus Vanderhorst, deliv- 
ered an address in these words: 

To the President of the United States: 

Sir: The Intendant and Wardens, representing the citi- 
zens of Charleston, find themselves particularly gratified by 
your arrival in the Metropolis of the State. It is an event, the 

having been in America at the time must necessarily have known what I 
mention to be true. 

" I added that with respect to the inhumanity of which General Wash- 
ington had been accused I would appeal for a contradiction of the charge to 
those officers who had been his prisoners in America; and I was sure (from 
my acquaintance with some of them, and good opinion of the rest) they 
would not be satisfied merely with contradictions of it, but they would es- 
teem it a duty they owed their consciences, and to Justice, to go further 
and declare they never knew a man possessing more humanity; and that if 
anything could have rendered the position of a prisoner agreeable it would 
have been the very great kindness which Genl. Washington shewed to his. 

"When all the company had gone Sir John told me he never in his life 
was more pleased with anything than the modest and probable manner in 
which I had related Argill's affair. . . ." For this extract I am indebted to 
Mr. E. B. Rutledge, The Plains, Fauquier County, Virginia. 



Where Washington breakfasted 



expectation of which they have for some time with great 
pleasure indulged. When in the person of the Supreme Mag- 
istrate of the United States, they recognize the Father of the 
People, and the defender of the liberties of America, they 
feel a particular satisfaction in declaring their firm persuasion 
that they speak the language of their constituents, in assert- 
ing, that no body of men throughout this extensive continent 
can exceed them in attachment to his public character, or in 
revering his private virtues. And they do not hesitate in an- 
ticipating those blessings which must ultimately be diffused 
amongst the inhabitants of these States by his exertions for 
their general welcome, aided by those in whom they have also 
vested a share of their confidence. 

Go on, Sir, as you have done. Continue to possess as well 
as deserve the love and esteem of all your fellow citizens: 
while millions in other parts of the globe, though strangers to 
your person, shall venerate your name. May you long be 
spared to receive those marks of respect which you so entirely 
merit from a grateful people; and may all who live under your 
auspices continue to experience that freedom and happiness 
which is so universally acknowledged to have proceeded from 
your wise, judicious and prudent administration. 

To which the President graciously replied : 

Gentlemen — 

The gratification you are pleased to express at my arrival 
in your Metropolis, is replied to with sincerity, in a grateful 
acknowledgment of the pleasing sensations which your af- 
fectionate urbanity has excited. 

Highly sensible of your attachment and favorable opinions, 
I entreat you to be persuaded of the lasting gratitude which 
they impress, and of the cordial regard with which they are 

It is the peculiar boast of our country that her happiness is 
alone dependent on the collective wisdom and virtue of her 
citizens, and rests not on the exertions of any individual. 
Whilst ajust sense is entertained of their natural and political 
advantages, we cannot fail to improve them, and with the 


Washington? *s Southern Tour 

progress of our national importance, to combine the freedom 
and felicity of individuals. I shall be particularly grateful in 
observing the happy influence of public measures on the pros- 
perity of your city, which is so much entitled to the regard 
and esteem of the American Union. 

Not to be outdone, the Charleston Chamber of Com- 
merce had made preparations to present an address to the 
President, particularly in view of the great importance of 
Charleston as a commercial centre and port of entry. Ac- 
cordingly at half-past three, almost before the President 
could catch his breath, a delegation of the merchants 
arrived at the President's house, and the following address 
was presented by the chairman, Edmund Darrell : 


The merchants of Charleston, entertaining a just sense of 
the high honour conferred on the City by your Presence, take 
the earliest opportunity of congratulating you on your arrival. 

The obligations which are due to you by every member of 
the Republic, are acknowledged by all; to enter into detail of 
them, would be to produce the history of your life, and to re- 
peat what is re-echoed from one end of the Continent to the 
other. Were it possible, Sir, for your Fellow-Citizens to omit 
doing justice to your Merits, the Testimony of other Nations 
would evince their neglect, or ingratitude; the whole world 
concurring in the same opinion of you. 

Convinced as we are of your constant Solicitude for the gen- 
eral Welfare; it must afford you particular Satisfaction to find 
the progressive Effects of the Federal Government in this 
State; and that the inhabitants are fast emerging from the 
heavy Calamities, to which they were subjected by the late 

Sensible of the numerous blessings our Country has derived 
from your Wise and judicious Administration, we feel ani- 
mated with the most lively Sentiments of Gratitude towards 
you: Suffer us then, on the present occasion, to represent to 



you the effectionate Sensibility with which we are impressed, 
by assuring you that we yield to none in sincere Respect and 
attachment to your Person; and, we earnestly implore the Al- 
mighty Father of the Universe, long to preserve a life so valu- 
able and dear to the People over whom you preside. 

The reply of the President follows : 

To the Merchants of Charleston: 

Your congratulations on my arrival in South Carolina, en- 
hanced by the affectionate manner in which they are offered, 
are received with the most grateful sensibility. 

Flattered by the favorable sentiments you express of my 
endeavors to be useful to our country, I desire to assure you 
of my constant solicitude for its welfare and of my particular 
satisfaction in observing the advantages which accrue to the 
highly deserving citizens of this State from the operations of 
the general government. 

I am not less indebted to your expressions of personal at- 
tachment and respect; they receive my best thanks, and in- 
duce my most sincere wishes for your professional prosperity 
and your individual happiness. 

Following the ceremonies, the President at once ad- 
journed to the Exchange, where an "elegant entertain- 
ment" was given in his honor by the City Corporation. 1 

The Exchange, which had recently been "fitted up and 
decorated in very sumptuous style," was well suited for so 
memorable a company — those invited being the Gov- 
ernor, Lieutenant-Governor, officers of the State, Union 
and city, consuls of foreign powers, the reverend clergy, 
members of the Society of the Cincinnati, officers of the 

1 It is so styled in the contemporary Charleston City Gazette. But A. S. Sal- 
ley, Jr., to whom I am indebted for information, states that Charleston was 
not incorporated as a city until more than forty years after this event. The 
name was changed from Charles Town to Charleston by act of assembly 
in 1783. 


Washington! s Southern Tour 

militia, "gentlemen strangers," and a number of "respect- 
able citizens." The banquet, unusually protracted, was a 
great success according to the ideas of our leisurely ances- 
tors; and, following custom, fifteen toasts were given after 
the banquet — : each toast being followed by a discharge 
from the cannon of the Charleston Battalion of Artillery: 

i. The United States of America, may they long enjoy free- 
dom in peace. 
i. The federal constitution, its friends and supporters. 

3. The Vice-President of the United States and members 
of the Senate. 

4. The late members of both houses of Congress; may their 
successors inherit their wisdom and patriotism. 

5. (By the President.) The commercial interests of 

6. Louis 1 6th and the National Assembly of France. 

7. The navigation of the United States; protected by the 
strong arm of the federal government, may it increase 
and flourish. 

8. Agriculture and commerce; may their dependence on 
each other be properly understood. 

9. The useful arts of peace. 

10. May the merchants of the United States continue to 
merit the flattering compliments paid them by the Pres- 
ident at the opening of the last session of Congress. 

11. The National bank; a general diffusion of its happy ef- 
fects throughout the United States. 

12. The defenders of the rights and liberties of the people 
throughout the world. 

13. The Secretary of State; may the important service he 
has rendered to the commercial interest of his country, 
endear him to every merchant. 

14. The Secretary of the Treasury; may his fame increase 
with the rising credit of his country. 

15. May the mantle of peace and friendship cover the world. 

16. The fair daughters of America. 


- *u m mai -ru»,» ,»u i ip t i j.« i 


ii ii n 
ii ii ii 



iJSL Hft'Urt'f 



And when the President retired — 

17. The illustrious President of the United States; long 
may he live to enjoy the praises of a grateful people. 

18. The lady of the President. 

At the conclusion of this ceremony, which came at eight 
o'clock, the " President retired " — whereupon the ban- 
queters enthusiastically and mayhap hilariously drank a 
last toast to " The President of the United States." 

Over the President's head [reads a description in the Ga- 
zette referring to the place which he occupied at the banquet 
table] was fabricated, in very ingenious workmanship, a beau- 
tiful triumphal arch, from which was suspended a wreath of 
laurel. It is almost unnecessary to add, that the day and eve- 
ning were spent with all that hilarity, harmony and happy 
festivity suitable to the occasion. 

The Charleston battalion of artillery performed Military 
Duty during the entertainment and the privates of that an- 
cient, respectable corps (who in their official capacity have 
uniformly acquitted themselves with honor) dined in an 
agreeable manner, in a separate apartment, provided by the 
corporation. The shipping in the harbour displayed all their 
colors during the day and St. Michael's bells echoed forth 
their joyous peals. 

An incident worthy of record is associated with this 

banquet. Commodore Alexander Gillon, a native of 

Rotterdam, and commander of the ill-fated South Carolina 

during the Revolution, was a figure in the social world of 

Charleston — owning a handsome residence in Charleston 

on East Bay, renamed " Batavia," where he and his first 

wife lived in style prior to the Revolution. Following the 

battle of Lexington, a volunteer military organization 

called the German Fusiliers was organized in Charleston 


Washington's Southern Tour 

(May, 1775), with Gillon as captain — a post he retained 
until 1777. During Washington's visit, Gillon played a 
prominent part — both as former captain of the German 
Fusiliers and as a leader of society. At the banquet at the 
Exchange, given by the City Corporation on May 3d, the 
President was to take in the Governor's lady, of course ; 
but the question was raised by the committee of arrange- 
ments: What other fair companions should Washington 
have? "Leave it to me," said the tactful Gillon, "and 
I will arrange things quite comme il faut." When the 
guests were seated, the gallant Commodore's wisdom 
was universally approved — for at the President's left 
was seated Miss Claudia Smith, the wittiest woman of 
Charleston, and immediately before his eyes across 
the banquet table Mrs. Richard Shubrick, the most 
beautiful of Charleston's daughters! Distinction, wit, 
and beauty — what more could even the great Washing- 
ton desire? 

Early on the morning of Wednesday, 4th, the President, 
accompanied by the Honorable Mr. Izard, Major-General 
Moultrie, Brigadier-General Pinckney, Major Rutledge, 
and Major Jackson, viewed the remains of the lines and 
batteries which had been thrown up for the defence of the 
city when attacked by the British fleet and army under 
Sir George Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot in 1780. Mr. 
Izard, at this time Senator from South Carolina, was tall, 
graceful, and unusually prepossessing in appearance. He 
enjoyed the confidence of Washington in an unusual de- 
gree, especially for acumen in judgment of men he recom- 



mended to Washington for appointment. It appears from 
the letters of the period that he influenced the Com- 
mander-in-Chief to send General Greene to take command 
of the Southern Army, for which he received the thanks of 
the Governor of South Carolina. 1 With a trained eye for 
military works and fortifications, General Washington 
rode over the whole ground covered by these works, ex- 
hibiting keen interest in an inspection of the localities of 
the enemy's trenches, batteries, parallels, and approaches. 
Says a writer in the "City Gazette," the General was 
"pleased to express great satisfaction at the very gallant 
defence that had been made by the garrison during the 
siege." In his diary he records: "I . . . was satisfied that 
the defence was noble & honorable altho' the measure was 
undertaken upon wrong principles and impolitic." 2 
On this day, General M. Gist, 3 Grand Master of the 

1 Ralph Izard was born near Charleston, South Carolina. The family 
residence, "The Elms," was situated in St. James Parish, Goose Creek, 
about seventeen miles from Charleston. Of English ancestry, he pursued 
classical studies in Hackney, and was graduated from Christ College, Cam- 
bridge. He returned to America; but in 1771 he settled in England, and his 
home in England was the centre of the most intellectual and cultured soci- 
ety. Later he removed to Paris to live, and was appointed Commissioner to 
the Court of Tuscany, being recalled in 1779. When Commodore Gillon 
was sent from South Carolina to Europe to purchase frigates, and was un- 
able to negotiate the requisite loan on the security of the State Government 
alone, Izard came forward and pledged his whole estate for the loan. He 
returned to America in 1780. He was a delegate from South Carolina in the 
Continental Congress, 1782-83. He was elected to the United States Sen- 
ate, serving from March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1795, and was President pro 
tempore of the Senate from May 31, 1794, to February 20, 1795. Founder 
of the College of Charleston. Died May 30, 1804, and was buried at the 
Parish Church of St. James, Goose Creek. Cf. Memoir in Correspondence 
of Ralph Izard, vol. 1. 

2 These lines were upon Charleston Neck, extending from the Ashley to 
the Cooper River, at the junction of which the City stands. 

3 Mordecai Gist was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1743, of English 


Washington's Southern Tour 

fraternity of the ancient York Masons, "a tall and graceful 
figure, symmetrical proportions, and expressive features," 
attended by the other present and past grand officers, 
waited on their "beloved brother, the president of the 
United States," and presented the following address: 

Sir — Induced by a respect for your public and private 
character, as well as the relation in which you stand with the 
brethren of this society, we the Grand Lodge of the State of 
South Carolina, Ancient York Masons, beg leave to offer our 
sincere congratulations on your arrival in this state. 

We felicitate you on the establishment and exercise of a 
permanent government, whose foundation was laid under 
your auspices by military achievements, upon which have 
been progressively reared the pillars of the free republic over 
which you preside, supported by wisdom, strength, and 
beauty unrivalled among the nations of the world. 

The fabric thus raised and committed to your superintend- 
ance, we earnestly wish may continue to produce order and 
harmony to succeeding ages, and be the asylum of virtue to 
the oppressed of all parts of the universe. 

When we contemplate the distresses of war, the instances 
of humanity displayed by the Craft afford some relief to the 
feeling mind; and it gives us the most pleasing sensation to 
recollect, that amidst the difficulties attendant on your late 
military stations, you still associated with, and patronized 
the Ancient Fraternity. 

Distinguished always by your virtues, more than the ex- 
parentage. He was elected captain " Baltimore Independent Company" at 
beginning of the Revolution. In 1776 he was appointed major of a battal- 
ion of Maryland regulars, and with them was at the battle near Brooklyn. 
In January, 1779, he was appointed by Congress brigadier-general in the 
Continental Army, and took command of the Second Maryland Brigade. 
He participated in the battle of Camden, 1780. He was present at the sur- 
render of Cornwallis, and joined the Southern Army under Greene. In 
1782, when the army was remodelled, he was given the command of the 
Light Corps. He fought bravely at the battle of the Combahee, August 6, 
1782, gaining a decisive victory over the British. After the war he resided 
at his plantation near Charleston, South Carolina, where he died in 1792. 







alted stations in which you have moved, we exult in the op- 
portunity you now give us of hailing you brother of our Order, 
and trust from your knowledge of our institution to merit 
your countenance and support. 

With fervent zeal for your happiness, we pray that a life so 
dear to the bosom of this society, and to society in general, 
may be long, very long preserved; and when you leave the 
temporal symbolic lodges of this world, you may be received 
into the celestial lodge of light and perfection, where the 
Grand Master Architect of the Universe presides. 

Done in behalf of the Grand Lodge. 

M. Gist, G. M. 
Charleston, id May, 1791. 

The reply of the President, which was thoughtfully 
composed — as indicated by the corrections and dele- 
tions l — is as follows : 


I am much obliged by the respect which you are so good as 
to declare for my public and private character. I recognize 
with pleasure my relation to the brethren of your Society, and 
I accept with gratitude your congratulations on my arrival in 
South Carolina. 

Your sentiments, on the establishment and exercise of our 
equal government, are worthy of an association, whose prin- 
ciples lead to purity of morals and are beneficial of action. 

The fabric of our freedom is placed on the enduring basis of 
public virtue, and will, I fondly hope, long continue to protect 
the prosperity of the architects who raised it. I shall be 
happy, on every occasion, to evince my regard for the Frater- 
nity. For your prosperity individually, I offer my best wishes. 

After these ceremonies were concluded, the President 
held a short reception, the Grand Master introducing the 
deputy and other attending brothers. 

1 The original draft of Washington's reply is in the Library of Congress. 


Washington } s Southern Tour 

Th/s day the President dined — "a very sumptuous 
dinner" we are told it was — with the members of the 
Society of the Cincinnati in the Long Room at McCrady's 
Tavern, 1 which was handsomely decorated with laurel and 
flowers. In attendance were the Governor, Lieutenant- 
Governor and civil officers of the State, the Intendant and 
Wardens of the city, the members of Congress, the consuls 
of foreign powers, gentlemen strangers, the officers of the 
artillery, and a number of the most distinguished charac- 
ters of the State. The officers of the Society of the Cincin- 
nati at this time were: Major-General William Moultrie, 
President; Major-General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 
Vice-President; John Sandford Dart, Secretary; and 
Charles Lining, Treasurer. Major-General C. C. Pinck- 
ney, who had been Vice-President of the South Carolina 
Society since 1786, was elected Vice-President-General of 
the General Society at Philadelphia in May, 1800, after 
the demise of Washington, first President-General. In 
May, 1805, following the demise of Alexander Hamilton, 
second President-General, General C. C. Pinckney was 
elected President-General of the General Society of the 
Cincinnati. 2 

After the "sumptuous dinner" was consumed, the fol- 

1 This tavern, which was on the site occupied by the Daggett Printing 
Company on East Bay (Address of Professor Yates Snowden, May 23, 
1901), was conducted by the great-grandfather of Edward McCrady, the 

2 In the City Gazette of Charleston, February 10, 1790, appears the "Ad- 
dress to the President of the United States by the Society of the Cincinnati, 
in the State of South Carolina, voted 17th November, 1789," signed "By 
order of the Society, William Moultrie, President"; and Washington's 



lowing toasts were drunk, followed by a discharge from 
the field pieces of the Charleston Battalion of Artillery: 

1. The United States. 

2. The 4th of July, 1776. 

3. Louis 1 6th, King of the French. 

4. The national assembly of France. 

5. All nations in amity with the United States. 

6. Count d'Estaing and officers of the French navy who 
served in America. 

7. Count Rochambeau and the French officers who served 
in America. 

8. The President of the United States. 

9. The Secretary of State. 

10. The Secretary of the Treasury. 

11. The Secretary of the War Department. 

12. The Army of the United States. 

13. Agriculture and Commerce. 

14. The memory of those who have fallen in defence of the 
Liberties of America. 

15. (By the President.) The memory of General Greene and 
all those officers who have fallen in defence of America. 

16. The Patriotic Fair of America. 1 

While the dinner was in progress, a choir of singers en- 
tertained the diners with vocal selections. 

In the evening Washington attended what he describes 
with (for him) exceptional praise as a "very elegant danc- 
ing Assembly" at the Exchange, given by the City Cor- 
poration. The occasion was extraordinarily brilliant; the 

1 The South Carolina Society of the Cincinnati was organized at Charles- 
ton, August 29, 1783, with the following officers: Major-General William 
Moultrie, President; Brigadier-General Isaac Huger, Vice-President; Ma- 
jor Thomas Pinckney, Secretary; Captain Charles Lining, Treasurer; Lieu- 
tenant James Kennedy, Assistant Treasurer, Lieutenant Samuel Beekman 
and John Sandford Dart, Esq., Stewards. Consult the Original Institution 
of the General Society of the Cincinnati, together with the Rules and By-Laws 
of the State Society of South Carolina. Charleston, 1880. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

throng came to enjoy themselves not less than to pay 
honor to the revered President. In the "City Gazette" 
the ball is thus described: 

The ladies were all superbly dressed and most of them wore 
ribbons with different inscriptions expressive of their esteem 
and respect for the president such as: "long live the presi- 
dent," etc. Joy, satisfaction and gratitude illumined every 
countenance and revelled in each heart, whilst the demon- 
strations of grateful respect shown him seemed to give him 
the utmost heart felt satisfaction which nobly displayed itself 
in his countenance. 

The beautiful arch of lamps in front of the exchange was 
illuminated; and over the entrance there was a superb trans- 
parency in the centre " Deliciis Patriae " and at the top G. W. 

The fusileer company was drawn up before the exchange to 
maintain order, and exhibited a very pleasing appearance. In 
short every circumstance of the evening's entertainment was 
truly picturesque of the most splendid elegance. At half past 
ten, the company sat down to supper; at the table were seated 
more than 250 ladies, besides gentlemen. The brilliancy of 
the company and elegance of the supper surpassed all concep- 
tion. 1 

1 According to Washington's diary, there were present "256 elegantly 
dressed and handsome ladies " — truly a wonderful group, since the gallant 
Washington, it will be noted, makes no exceptions — all were " handsome." 


Charleston (continued) 

ON Thursday morning early, the President, accom- 
panied by Intendant Vanderhorst, Major Butler, 1 
Mr. Izard, Generals Moultrie and Pinckney, Majors 
Rutledge and Jackson, Captain Cochran and Mr. Henry 
Laurens, Jr., 2 made a visit to the forts of Charleston — 
"both of which," notes the President, "are in Ruins, and 

1 Pierce Butler, son of Sir Richard Butler, was born in Ireland, July u, 
1744. He came to America as a member of the British army, and was sta- 
tioned in Boston. He resigned from the British army in 1773, and settled in 
Charleston, South Carolina. During the Revolution he was Adjutant-Gen- 
eral of South Carolina. He sat in the Continental Congress, 1787-88. He 
was a member of the convention which framed the Federal Constitution in 
1787, and was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate, and 
served from March 4, 1789, to 1796, when he resigned. He was again 
elected to the United States Senate, to fill the vacancy caused by the death 
of John Ewing Calhoun, November 3, 1802; took his seat October 18, 1803; 
resigned in 1 804. Appointed director of the Bank of the United States, he 
removed to Philadelphia, where he died February 15, 1822. 

2 Henry Laurens, Jr., the son of Henry Laurens and Eleanor Ball, was 
born August 25, 1763. In April, 1771, he was sent to London to stay with 
the Reverend Richard Clarke in Islington for his education. His father sent 
minute instructions as to his care — "he was to be clad in decent apparel 
unmixed with any kind of foppery"; "keep him in due subordination . . . 
impress the fear of God upon his mind." His father and brothers followed 
in July. All three boys were together in Islington for a short time. Later 
they were taken to Geneva. In 1774 Henry went to Westminster School. 
When his father was imprisoned in the Tower, Henry was allowed to see 
him once, "which deeply affected the father who had not seen his 17 yr. old 
son for 6 years." In 1785, having returned to America, Henry, the only 
surviving son, went overland with his father to Charleston. He had not 
been in his native State since he was a child, yet in 1785 he was elected to 
the Legislature, but did not serve. He was again elected in 1787. On May 
26, 1792, he was married to Eliza Rutledge. 


Washington's Southern Tonr 

scarcely a trace of the latter [Fort Moultrie] left — the 
former [Fort Johnson] quite fallen." At Fort Johnson on 
James Island the party partook of an "exceedingly good 
breakfast," which the commandant, Captain Kalteisen, 
had all in readiness for them upon their arrival. Under his 
guidance they inspected the fort and took note of the com- 
manding situation for a battery on the marsh immediately 
opposite the city. They next visited Fort Moultrie on 
Sullivan's Island, viewed the remains of the fort and bat- 
talions, and the bridge built by General Gadsden. Gen- 
eral Washington listened with the keenest interest to the 
animated recital by that gallant soldier and entertaining 
conversationist, General Moultrie, of the defeat, on June 
28, 1776, by the forces under his command of the British 
fleet under Sir Peter Parker. After eating lunch — de- 
scribed in the quaint language of the period as "an excel- 
ent collation" — the party returned to the city about 
two o'clock, the President at parting expressing the great 
satisfaction he had received from the morning's excursion. 
At four o'clock Governor Pinckney gave a magnificent 
reception at his home on Meeting Street, 1 the appointment 
and decorations being lavish in the extreme. Traditions 
long survived in Charleston of the exceptional beauty and 
elegance of this entertainment, which was given to the 
President and the principal gentlemen of the civil, clerical, 

1 " By the sixties," says Professor Snowden, " this house had been torn 
down, and the very earth upon which it had been built had been removed to 
form one of the fortifications on White Point Battery for the defence of 
Charleston." In 1901 the house standing upon this site was owned by 
George W. Williams, Esq. 












and military professions. At this entertainment, accord- 
ing to a contemporary account, the following toasts were 
drunk with gusto, to salvos of applause: 

i. United States. 

i. Congress of the United States. 

3. 4th of July 1776. 

4. Lewis Sixteenth. 

5. National Assembly of France. 

6. Friendly power of Europe. 

7. Fair America. 

8. Memory of General Greene. 

9. Agriculture and Commerce. 

10. Arts and Sciences. 

11. Friends of freedom in every quarter of the globe. 

12. Marquis de la Fayette. 

13. Memory of those who have fallen in the defence of the 
rights of the mainland. 

After the President retired, the following was drunk : 

14. The President of the United States. 

That evening, in the City Hall, was given one of the 

most brilliant concerts in the history of that justly 

famous and unique musical and social organization, 

the St. Cecilia Society. On this occasion the Amateur 

Society, which had participated in the vocal greetings to 

Washington upon his arrival, gave their assistance to the 

St. Cecilia. This Society, even then, had a long and 

honorable history, having been inaugurated in 1737 by a 

concert given upon "Thursday being St. Cecilias day," 

but it was not formally organized until 1762. The hall of 

the Exchange had recently undergone an alteration; and 

was most handsomely decorated with various ornaments. 

The pillars were " ingeniously entwined with laurel " ; and 


Washington's Southern Tour 

about the hall were decorative pieces bearing patriotic de- 
vices complimentary to the President: "Hominis jura, de- 
fendit et curat"; "Magnus in pace"; "Magnus in bello"; 
"Vitam imprudere bono"; "Diogene aujourdhui casse- 
roit la lanterne." The most arresting of the lofty "senti- 
ments," which exhibits the marks of feminine sensibility, 
attracted every eye : 

With grateful praises of the hero's fame, 

We'll teach our infants' tongues to lisp his name. 

An excellent band of music played in the orchestra, we are 
told; and they were "accompanied in the vocal strain by 
the choir of St. Phillip's Church." 1 

Even the imperturbable Washington, a great admirer of 
feminine charms, was dazzled by the sparkling scene and 
beautiful gentlewomen of Charleston: "In the evening 
went to a Concert at the Exchange at wch. there were 
at least 400 ladies the number & appearance of wch 
exceeded any thing of the kind I had ever seen." 

Friday, 6th, was a light day for the President. He be- 

1 In his Journal, March 3, 1773, Josiah Quincy of Boston described a St. 
Cecilia concert: "The music was good, the two base viols and French horns 
were grand. A Frenchman played the first violin, and a solo incomparably 
better than any one I ever heard. He has a salary of 500 [50?] guineas a 
year from the St. Cecilia Society. There were upwards of two hundred la- 
dies present, and it was called no great number. In loftiness of headdress, 
these ladies stoop to the daughters of the north — in richness of dress, sur- 
pass them, in health and floridity of countenance vail to them. In taciturn- 
ity during the performance, greatly before our ladies; in noise and flirtation 
after the music is over, pretty much on a par. If our ladies have any advan- 
tage it is in white and red, vivacity and spirit. The gentlemen many of 
them dressed with richness and elegance, uncommon with us: many with 
swords on." (Memoir 0/ the Life of Josiah Quincy, Jun., by Josiah Quincy. 
Boston, 1825.) 



gan the day by taking a horseback ride through most of the 
principal streets of the city. Upon his return, the irrepress- 
ible "I. H. W." bobbed up in the "Gazette" with a most 
high-flown eulogy to Washington — of whom the poet- 
aster justly says: "Freedom for all, was all thy soul re- 
quir'd." It would be interesting — to say the least — to 
fathom the emotions of Washington as he sat down after 
breakfast and indulged in the "luxuries" of a nation's 
thanks : 

Rome Fabius grac'd for natural prudence fam'd 
And Aristides, Greece, the just surnam'd 
Both heroes with peculiar merits shone 
Their merits meet in Washington alone. 
Great man! When pillar of a drooping land, 
Well did'st thou wield the scepter of command. 
When Great Britannia with her dreadful arms, 
Fill'd thy desponding country with alarms; 
Thru skill with caution all thy deeds display 'd 
In dangers cheerful nor by loss dismay 'd; 
Till thy unequalled prudence gave the blow, 
Which sav'd unhurt thy brave though vanquished foe 
Thy country's wrongs gave courage to thy breast. 
The sons of Britons tyranny detest. 
To free thy country was thy only aim, 
Thy present action loud this truth proclaim — 
Caesar when tow'ring on ambitions height, 
Sprung to imperial sway with quick delight, 
But thy transcendent soul no crown desired 
Freedom for all, was all thy soul requir'd. 
When war had yielded to the spring of peace, 
Thy country own'd from thee came such release. 
Though long trained soldiers lov'd thee as their chief 
Ev'n when America had gain'd relief; 
Yet did thy patriotic breast with joy dilate, 
And give their powers to each admiring state 

Washington* s Southern Tour 

That glorious day repaid thy mortal strife 
A nation's thanks are luxuries in life 
Well hast thou earn'd thy never fading bays, 
The world admits as just thy country's praise. 

I. H. W. 

This day the President dined "in a private manner" 
with the Honorable Pierce Butler, one of the Senators 
from South Carolina, there being present a number of con- 
genial gentlemen. That evening the President attended a 
ball given by Governor Pinckney at his home, where was 
gathered a "select company" of ladies and gentlemen. 
The ladies, sacrificing for the nonce their elaborate floral 
headdresses and imposing feathers, wore handsome fillets 
or bandeaux upon which was drawn or painted Washing- 
ton's portrait, with the national colors entwined. "Every 
hand that could hold a pencil, professional or amateur," 
says Fraser, "was enlisted to furnish them." 1 Whatever 
the great hero's former conquests in peace and war, cer- 
tain it is that he had never before seen himself go to the 
heads of so many ladies at one time. Nor must we forget 
the patriotic sacrifice of these ladies in " killing" the delicate 
tints of their own gowns of azure and maize and mauve 
with the primary red and blue of the national colors. The 
most memorable of the bandeaux were ribbons on which 
was inscribed in large letters of gold : 

Health to Columbia's noblest son 

Her light and shield — great Washington. 

Before breakfast on Saturday the President, accom- 
panied by the Honorable Pierce Butler, General Moultrie, 

1 Fraser's Reminiscences. 


the mbaw 



General Pinckney, Major E. Rutledge, and the Attorney- 
General of South Carolina, and the Intendant, who con- 
ducted the party, visited the Orphan House. 

In the act, passed in 1783 by the Legislature of South 
Carolina, incorporating the city of Charleston, the "care 
of providing for the poor, and maintaining and educating 
poor orphan children " was imposed upon it. During the 
next five years, Commissioners of the Poor appointed by 
the City Council collected orphan children and boarded 
them out "at several private houses, under the care and 
direction of different respectable ladies, and educated them 
at schools in the City, at its expense." In 1788 John Robert- 
son, a merchant in moderate business, and a philanthropic 
citizen, actively busied himself in the effort to make per- 
manent provision for the care of the orphan poor. As the 
result of his efforts, the City Council of Charleston passed 
an ordinance providing for the establishment of an Orphan 
House in Charleston. The Commissioners appointed by 
the Council hired from Mrs. Elizabeth Pinckney a com- 
modious building in Ellery Street, later Market Street, on 
or near the site of the "Sailors' Home" (1855), ana " col- 
lected and domesticated therein upwards of one hundred 
children. "This asylum has recorded on its journals the 
interesting fact, that on 25th May, 1791, it was visited by 
George Washington, president of the United States, then 
on his southern tour, who expressed great satisfaction at 
the establishment of such an institution, and invoked a 
benediction on it and its little inmates. That blessing and 

prayer have been graciously heard and answered in the 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

prosperity and extensive usefulness of the institution." ! 
When the sixth anniversary of the institution was cele- 
brated in 1795, the Reverend Doctor George Buist, pas- 
tor of the Presbyterian Church, and the orator of the 
occasion, speaks of the "Orphan House building of that 
day, as the most magnificent edifice of the kind of which 
the new world can boast." According to a Government 
report, Department of the Interior, this institution has 
the longest continuous existence of any institution of the 
kind in the United States. 2 

The President and party were received by the Commis- 
sioners — who were doubtless surprised, as Roosevelt's 
fiiends used to be, by unusual hours and exceptional ac- 
tions — : John Mitchell, John Robertson, Richard Cole, 
Thomas Coibett, Samuel Beckman, and Charles Lining. 
Mr. Besselieu and all the boys under his tuition were pres- 
ent. The President expiessed the "highest approbation" 
of the institution, after the Commissioners had submitted 
for his perusal the ordinance for establishing the Orphan 
House, the rules of the house, the journals of the proceed- 
ings of the board, and the register. The President visited 
the breakfast room, where the children, one hundred and 

1 The Proceedings of the Sixty-Sixth Anniversary of the Orphan House of 
Charleston, South Carolina (Charleston, 1855). 

2 Consult Centennial Proceedings, Charleston Orphan House (Charleston, 
1 891). This publication contains illustrations: of the Orphan House as 
completed, in 1794, located on vacant city land, between Boundary (now 
Calhoun) and Vanderhorst Streets; and of the new Orphan House as it was 
in 1890. The Commissioners elected in 1790 were Arnoldus Vanderhprst, 
Intendant, as Chairman ex officio; John Mitchell, John Robertson, Richard 
Cole, Thomas Corbett, Charles Lining, William Marshall, Thomas Jones, 
and Samuel Beckman. 



seven in all, were assembled; and on his departure "very 
pathetically pronounced his benediction on them," an 
antique use of language which, while expressing the fact, 
provokes a smile over what was doubtless an affecting 
scene. After partaking of a " genteel breakfast " (whatever 
that may be !) in the Commissioners' room, the President 
took his leave — wishing the Commissioners all success in 
their "laudable and benevolent endeavors." Before re- 
turning to his quarters the President ascended the steeple 
of St. Michael's Church to the balcony, whence he ob- 
tained an extensive view of the city, harbor, rivers, and 
adjacent country. "The whole is seen in one view and to 
advantage," he notes in his diary, "the Gardens & green 
trees which are interpersed adding much to the beauty of 
the prospect." 

The festivities of this, perhaps the most socially hectic, 
week of Washington's career were concluded, fittingly 
enough, with a "sumptuous entertainment" in the Ex- 
change given to the President by the merchants of 
Charleston. This was doubtless the most widely repre- 
sentative, in personnel, of all of the receptions — being at- 
tended by the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Senators, 
Federal, State, and City officers, all the members of both 
Houses of the Assembly for Charleston District who 
were in town, Representatives in Congress, the Intendant 
and Wardens, the clergy of every denomination, and 
"many respectable strangers." 

The description of the decorations, which appeared in 

the "City Gazette," summons a vivid picture of the 


Washington's Southern Tour 

scene and gives us an insight into the aesthetic tastes of 
our ancestors of one hundred and thirty years ago: 

The walls of the exchange were beautifully decorated with 
flowers & shrubbery, wreaths of laurel encircling the arches, 
over the president's head was exhibited an emblematical 
painting representing commerce distributing plenty over the 
globe. Opposite under the center arch was exhibited a ship 
in miniature, handsomely decorated and furnished with lamps 
to the number of 136 which in the evening were lighted up. 
This at once discovered a beautifully emblematical figure and 
formed a most happy substitute for a brilliant chandelier; on 
her stern was painted "The Commerce of Charleston" and 
the repeated acclamations of the company testified their 
wishes for her success. 

The company assembled to the number of upwards of 
three hundred in the City Hall; 1 and on the President's 
arrival — which was the dramatic moment of the day — 
the ship America of Charleston which was moored in the 
harbor fired a federal salute. About half-past four the 
company sat down to an elegant dinner — the board 
groaning with "every delicacy that the country and 
season could afford" and the wines being "excellent and 
in great variety." The America fired a salute of thirteen 
guns after each of the following toasts : 

1. The United States of America, may they long enjoy 
freedom in peace. 

1 The City Hall, or, as it was then called, "The Public Offices," was lo- 
cated on the southwest corner of Broad and Meeting Streets where the 
United States Post-Office building is now located. This location was 
owned and used for city purposes by Charleston until 1886. President 
Washington had only two short city blocks to go from the City Hall to the 
Old Exchange. Consult The Charleston Directory (1790), a copy of which 
is in the Charleston Library. For this information I am indebted to the 
Reverend William Way, D.D., of Charleston. 



2. The federal constitution, its friends and supporters. 

3. The vice-president of the United States and members of 
the senate. 

(By the President. The commercial interest of Charles- 

4. The late members of both houses of Congress; may their 
successors inherit their wisdom and patriotism. 

5. Louis 16- and the national assembly of France; a 
speedy and successful termination of their labours. 

6. Agriculture and commerce; may their dependence on 
each other be properly understood. 

7. The navigation of the United States; protected by the 
strong arm of the federal government, may it increase 
and flourish. 

8. The useful arts of peace. 

9. May the merchants of the United States continue to 
merit the flattering compliment paid them by the presi- 
dent at the opening of the last session of Congress. 

10. The national bank; a general diffusion of its happy ef- 
fects throughout the United States. 

11. The defenders of the rights and liberties of the people 
throughout the world. 

12. The fair daughters of America. 

13. The secretary of state; may the important service he 
has rendered to the commercial interest of his country 
endear him to every merchant. 

14. The secretary of the Treasury; may his fame increase 
with the rising credit of his country. 

15. May the mantle of peace and friendship cover the 

And when the President had retired : 

16. The illustrious president of the United States; long may 
he live to enjoy the praises of a grateful people. 

At eight o'clock the President "retired to the City 
Hall " ; that is, presumably to the portico facing the ocean, 

whence he had a view of the fireworks displayed on the 


JVashingtorts Southern Tour 

America. This ship with its multitude of lanterns stood 
out a gleaming constellation of lights, the letters "V. W.," 
for Vivat Washington, shining brightly forth in bold out- 
line against the dusky background of the summer night. 

In a final flourish of patriotic affection the "City 
Gazette" epitomizes the common sentiment of the people 
of Charleston whom Washington graciously described as 
"wealthy — Gay — & hospitable " : 

The harmony and hilarity which prevailed throughout 
were strongly demonstrative of the general gratitude and joy; 
and it must have afforded the highest gratification to every 
true patriot to have observed the man whom we most vener- 
ate — venerated by all. 

One of the most signal tributes paid to Washington 
during the Southern tour — a tribute compounded of af- 
fection, admiration, and regard for posterity — was the 
decision of the City Council of Charleston to commission 
John Trumbull, a recent visitor to Charleston, to paint 
Washington's portrait. On the journal of the City Council 
for May 7, 1791, appears the following: 

Resolved, unanimously, That His Honor the Intendant in 
behalf of the City Council and their Constituents, be desired 
to request of George Washington Esquire, President of the 
United States, That he will be pleased, when it is convenient 
to him, to permit his Portrait to be taken by Colonel Trum- 
bull, in order that it may be placed in the City Hall, as the 
most lasting testimony of their Attachment to his person, to 
commemorate his arrival in the metropolis of this State, and 
to hand down to posterity the resemblance of the Man, to 
whom they are indebted for the blessings of Peace, Liberty 
and Independence. 

Pet. Bounetheau: City Clerk 

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Copyrightby the Detroit Publishing Co. 

By Colonel John Trumbull 

Painted by Colonel John Trumbull for the City of Charleston 


A representative of the City Council waited upon the 
President to prefer this request, to which he readily as- 
sented. One of South Carolina's representatives in Con- 
gress, William Loughton Smith, gave the commission, 
which was unlimited, to Colonel Trumbull who, on that 
account, as he records in his autobiography, undertook 
it con amore — 

meaning to give his military character, in the most sublime 
moment of its exertion — the evening previous to the battle 
of Princeton; when viewing the vast superiority of his ap- 
proaching enemy, and the impossibility of again crossing the 
Delaware, or retreating down the river, he conceives the plan 
of returning by a night march into the country from which he 
had just been driven, thus cutting off the enemy's communi- 
cation, and destroying his depot of stores and provisions at 
Brunswick. I told the President of my object; he entered into 
it warmly, and, as the work advanced, we talked of the scene, 
its dangers, its almost desperation. He looked the scene again, 
and I happily transferred to the canvas, the lofty expression 
of his animated countenance, the high resolve to conquer or 
to perish. The result was in my own opinion eminently suc- 
cessful, and the general was satisfied. But it did not meet the 
views of Mr. Smith. He admired, he was personally pleased, 
but he thought the city would be better satisfied with a more 
matter-of-fact likeness, such as they had recently seen him, 
— calm, tranquil, peaceful. 

Oppressed as the President was with business, I was reluc- 
tant to ask him to sit again. I however waited upon him, 
stated Mr. Smith's objection, and he cheerfully submitted to a 
second penance, adding, " Keep this picture for yourself, Mr. 
Trumbull, and finish it to your own taste." I did so — an- 
other was painted for Charleston, agreeable to their taste — 
a view of the city in the background, a horse, with scenery, 
and plants of the climate; and when the State Society of Cin- 
cinnati of Connecticut dissolved themselves, the first picture, 

I 9 l 

Washington! 's Southern Tour 

at the expense of some of the members, was presented to Yale 
College. 1 

The decision of the City Council adverse to the first pic- 
ture, as expressed through Mr. Smith, was all the more 
singular in view of Trumbull's own opinion that this pic- 
ture was "the best certainly of those which I painted, and 
the best, in my estimation, which exists, in his heroic 
military character." The President had so endeared him- 
self recently to the people of Charleston in the benignant 
role of peace President that Mr. Smith's explanation needs 
no gloss. 2 

The citizens of South Carolina generally — and not 
merely the inhabitants of Charleston — vied with each 
other in paying every courtesy to the President. Even the 
venerable Thomas Sumter, although unable to be present 
in person, sent his son to represent him, as evidenced in the 
following letter: 

Dear Sir, 

Being informed by my son that he will wait on you in 
Cha s :ton at your arrival, I am happy in having occasion of of- 
fering you the sincerest welcome to our State, together with 
my best wishes for your health & happiness not only at 
present but in perpetuity. 

In your travels you may yet remark the traces of British 
devastation &, I am afraid, the pernicious effects of impol- 
itic counsels and lax principles. But you will also discern a 
happy contrast to this representation, in the prospects of 

1 The portrait now in the City Hall, Charleston, was regarded as an ex- 
cellent likeness by those who had seen Washington about the time it was 
made. Colonel Trumbull had served as Washington's aide, and had made a 
close study of his features and person. (Consult Fraser: Reminiscences.) 

2 J. Trumbull: Autobiography, Reminiscences and Letters. (New York, 



vigor & prosperity that are now budding from the unity of 
our American Governments, and which have been so strongly 
assured to us by the happy management which has charac- 
terized the first & most trying period of your Presidency. 

I hope, Sir, this freedom will be excused, as I have been 
moved to it from considerations of the highest esteem & the 
warmest regard. And likewise to declare how happy the 
People of this quarter and myself should be made, by having 
an opportunity of receiving one amongst us, who is always 
thought & spoken of with most affectionate emotion. 

We have been led to suggest our desire from a report of 
your having it in your intention to visit Collumbia & 
Camden — the first lies opposite to Stateburgh, at 30 miles 
distance & the latter at not more than 20 — So that the de- 
viation will be, perhaps, more trifling than the pleasure which 
the view of those Highlands may afford, which have been 
doubtless described to you. 

Allow me, Dear Sir, to subscribe myself with the truest 
sentiments of respect & regard, y r most obd.- Hb- Ser- 

Thos. Sumter Sen- 1 
nth April 1 79 1 

A pleasing and significant incident of Washington's 
visit arose out of the offer by the Charleston Battalion of 
Artillery of their official attendance upon the President 
during his stay — as well as regularly to mount guard for 
the purpose. Washington literally won all hearts by his 
reply — politely declining the friendly offer and declaring 
that he considered himself perfectly safe in "the affection 
and amicable attachment of the people." 

Not content with the public festivities in Washington's 
honor, the thirteen American captains who rowed the 

1 From a copy in the Draper MSS., 8W48, Wisconsin Historical Society. 
Draper has written on the margin: "Copied from the original in Simon 
Gratz's Collection — & by him furnished to me. L. C. D. Sep. 1886." 


fVashingtori's Southern Tour 

barge in which the President came in from HaddrelPs 

Point had a special " function " of their own on Monday — 

an "elegant entertainment" at McCrady's Tavern — to 

which a number of masters of vessels were invited. The 

following toasts were drunk, especially significant being 

those to John Paul Jones and Captain Barry: 

Our illustrious president. 

United States of America. 

The governor and State of South Carolina. 

The federal government; may it be equal to time. 

The memory of fallen heroes in defence of America. 

Lewis XVIth and the national assembly. 

The sufferers in the cause of Freedom. 

The Marquis de Lafayette, liberty's viceroy. 

John Paul Jones. 

Captain Barry. 

The memories of Biddle and Pickering. 

Protection to our commerce. 

The family of mankind. 

Not to be outdone, a number of young bloods of the 
city — "gentlemen of various professions" — met and 
dined on board a ship in the harbor on Saturday afternoon. 
The facts that the dinner was held on a ship in the harbor 
(no doubt beyond the three-mile limit), that the name of 
the ship was carefully withheld, and that the following day 
was Sunday all seem to have a meaning of their own. 
Rare enthusiasm must have animated these gay spirits 
when they drank the fifteenth toast: "May the circuit of 
the president round the states be as much admired as that 
of the earth round the sun." The " Correspondent " who 
inserted the notice of the dinner in the "Gazette" was 

careful to add the disarming postscript: "About 8 o'clock 



they broke up after spending the afternoon in the greatest 
harmony and hilarity." Follow the toasts: 

I. The president; may he long live and honour and benefit 

his country. 
1. May the States be ever united. 

3. The vice president, may his virtues be continued. 

4. Congress of the United States. 

5. May every state regard the interest of its sister states. 

6. The State of South Carolina. 

7. May commerce flourish. 

8. May the State of South Carolina be soon the carriers of 
its own produce. 

9. May merchant and planter understand their own inter- 
est, and each agree and assist the other in mutual good 

10. The memory of General Greene. 

11. General Marion. 

12. The grateful memory of all who fell in defence of Ameri- 
can Liberty. 

13. Our worthy ally Lewis the 16- 

14. A grateful reception to the president on his arrival in 

15. May the circuit of the president round the states be as 
much admired as that of the earth round the sun. 

A charming tribute to Washington is found in the fol- 
lowing note, preserved in the national archives : 

Miss Elliott presents her compliments to The President of 
the United States, and as a small tribute of her grateful re- 
spect, begs that he will Honor her by the acceptance of a 
Sword knot. 

May 7, 1791. 

On Sunday, by special invitation, the President — for- 
mally accompanied by Intendant, Wardens, city officers, 
Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and, of course, a number 


Washington's Southern Tour 

of thoroughly "respectable characters" (for he wasn't 
allowed even to go to church by himself!) — attended 
service at St. Philip's Church in the morning; and St. Mi- 
chael's Church in the afternoon. 1 After morning service 
he dined at a private dinner, with Major-General William 
Moultrie — a delightful host and skilled raconteur. 

Thus ends the story of Charleston's famous entertain- 
ment of George Washington — a civic entertainment 
probably without a parallel, for duration, variety, elegance, 
and universal cordiality, in the history of this country. A 
lady of Charleston writing to a friend in Hartford, Connec- 
ticut, describes in perfervid terms the events of this mem- 
orable week during which "little or nothing like business 
has been done." She particularly describes the elegant 
costumes of the romantic ladies of Charleston at the Cor- 
poration Ball — " the sashes and ribbons on their heads 
with his picture painted on them, and different inscrip- 
tions in gold and silver letters, pertinent and sentimental." 
Of this same ball she naively says : " When he entered the 
room joy sparkled in every countenance; but more so 
when, after being seated a few minutes, he rose, went all 
round the room and bowed to every lady — this gave par- 
ticular satisfaction, as every one was anxious to have a 

1 On the minute book of the Vestry of St. Philip's appears the following: 

At a Meeting of the Vestry & Church Wardens of S* Philip's Church 3 d 
May 1791 
Resolved — 

That the President of the United States, be invited to service in Sf 
Philips Church, & the Church Wardens do inform him, That a Pew is 
ready for his Accomodation on Sunday next, or any other day that he may 
think proper. 


Erected 1723 — Burnt 1835 




good view of him"! The letter concludes with the pious 
benediction for the President upon his journey: "May 
every protecting angel be his guardian ! " 1 

Washington's observations in his diary (May 7th) 
merit quotation: 

Charleston stands on a Pininsula between the Ashley & 
Cooper Rivers and contains about 1600 dwelling houses and 
nearly 16,000 Souls of which about 8000 are White — It lies 
low with unpaved streets (except the footways) of sand. — 
There are a number of very good houses of Brick & wood but 
most of the latter — The inhabitants are wealthy, — Gay — 
& hospitable; appear happy and satisfied with the Genl. Gov- 
ernment. A cut is much talked off between the Ashley & San- 
tee Rivers but it would seem I think, as if the accomplishment 
of the measure was not very near — It would be a great thing 
for Charleston if it could be effected. — The principal exports 
from this place is Rice, Indigo, and Tobacco; of the last from 
5 to 8000 Hhds. have been exported, and of the first from 80 
to 120,000 Barrels. 

A contemporary commentary on the entire visit, with 
its ludicrous transition from the cheerful to the lugubrious, 
may well serve to write "Finis" to this long account: 

We learn from the most respectable authority, that the 
president of the united states was, from the unrivalled trib- 
ute of praise and respect, incessantly preferred to him in South 
Carolina, impressed with the highest sensibility; this, the 
lineaments of his countenance evinced in uttering grateful ac- 
knowledgments for the honors conferred on him by the fair 
sex, and homage of the heart by all ranks of the community. 
— This surely is such a man, whose primary maxim, the Ro- 
man poet, in classic lore reveres. 

Hie murus ahenus esto; 
Nil conscire sibi. . . . 

1 Connecticut Courant, June 6, 1791. 

Washington' s Southern Tour 

Long may he live to please a virtuous people! 

And at the awful period of dissolution — on his mausoleum, 
by some kind hand, may this motto be engraven — George 
Washington — Hie cinis — ubique fama. 1 

1 The South-Carolina Independent Gazette; and Georgetown Chronicle , May 
21, 1791. The quotation is from Horace, and should read: 
His murus aeneus esto, 
Nil conscire sibi; nulla pallescere culpa. 


Georgia: Savannah 

CONSPICUOUS evidence of the development of the 
democratic feeling in America, and the aversion 
from titles, comes to light in connection with Washington's 
Southern tour. When a writer in the "Gazette of the 
United States" made a strong plea for titular distinctions, 
he was answered in the " Philadelphia General Advertiser" 
in vigorous terms : 

What more dignified title could be bestowed on our su- 
preme executive Magistrate than George Washington? 
Would the epithet Honor, or even Excellency, annexed to his 
name express as much as his Name itself? Does Excellency 
call to mind the services he has rendered to his country? and 
is not George Washington synonymous with prudent and 
brave warrior, profound statesman, defender of liberty, good 
citizen, great man? 

And in the same paper, of another date, appears this 
"crushing retort": 

The unlimited respect which has been paid to the Presi- 
dent of the United States, in his southern excursion, is a 
striking proof that titles are not necessary to procure it. But it 
will be said that this respect is paid to the Man, and not the 
station. So much the better. Let it teach rulers hereafter to 
be Men, if they wish to be treated in like manner. Titles, like 
crowns and bishops in the female dress, or like large cravats 
and high collars in the dress of gentlemen, were introduced 
only to supply the absence of real beauties, or to cover some 
existing defects. When the United States, or any single State 


Washington' 's Southern Tour 

shall have the misfortune to be governed by a Tyger, an Ass, 
or a He Goat, then let titles be applied to supply the absence 
of majesty, serenity, wisdom or excellency. 

On his departure from Charleston at six o'clock on 
May 9th, the President had a handsome escort as far as 
Ashley Ferry, consisting of His Excellency the Governor, 
the Honorable Mr. Izard, the Honorable Major Butler, a 
Corps of the Cincinnati, and officers of the militia, all 
mounted on horseback — in a word, as Washington says, 
"most of the principal Gentlemen of the City." At 
Boundary Street they were met by the Intendant and 
Wardens of the City; and here His Honor the Intendant 
briefly addressed the President as follows: 


The Intendant and Wardens, in behalf of themselves and 
their constituents beg leave to offer you their unfeigned 
thanks for the visit with which you have honored this city, 
and they are hopeful it will not be the last. They sincerely 
wish you a pleasant tour and happy return to your man- 
sion; and may health, that most grateful of all temporal 
blessings, attend you. 

To which the President "was pleased to reply": 


I beg you will accept and offer my best thanks to the 
Corporation and the citizens of Charleston for their very 
polite attentions to me. Should it ever be in my power, be 
assured it will give me pleasure to visit this very respectable 
city. 1 

1 In his Reminiscences, Fraser says: "Every attention that hospitality, 
public and private, could devise, was shown him [Washington], and it must 
have been very gratifying to the citizens of Charleston to receive from Gen- 
eral Washington himself, on his departure, the warm acknowledgments 
which those attentions had won from his heart." 


Georgia: Savannah 

The President then took his leave of the Corporation; 
and as the cavalcade, joined by the Intendant, moved on, 
the field pieces of the Charleston Battalion of Artillery 
boomed forth a federal discharge and the muskets of the 
Fusilier Company, drawn up some distance from the 
skirts of the city, fired a parting volley. A triumphal arch, 
adorned with flowers and laurel, greeted them at Ashley 
Bridge — and the enthusiasm of the assembled multitude 
no doubt burst forth in acclamations as the Nation's head 
passed beneath this graceful arch. At Mr. Fraser's, on the 
south side of the bridge, the party had breakfast — after 
which the President bade his escort an affectionate fare- 
well — with the exception of the Governor, Mr. Izard, 
Major Butler, and Generals Moultrie and Pinckney, who 
accompanied him some distance farther upon his journey. 

After a journey of twenty-eight miles the party reached 
"Sandy Hill," in the old Parish of St. Paul's, the home of 
Colonel William Washington. It was about three miles 
from the highway leading directly from Charleston to 
Savannah between Charleston and what was then known 
as Jacksonboro. The stately mansion was formerly the 
residence of Charles Elliott, Esq., and the large inland rice 
plantation surrounding it had originally been granted to a 
member of the Elliott family. A fine avenue led up to the 
house, which was located in the midst of a group of 
magnificent live-oaks; and in front of the house was a 
lawn with ornamental pond. Colonel Washington, who 
was greatly interested in horse-racing, himself had race- 
horses; and on the estate, not far from the residence, he 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

laid out a trial race-course for the practice of race-horses. 
The gallant William Washington, who was known as "the 
sword of the army," served with great distinction in cam- 
paigns in South Carolina. As occasion permitted, he vis- 
ited the Elliotts at " Sandy Hill," fascinated by the charms 
of Miss Jane Elliott. It is related that on a hurried visit 
there while war was at its height, the dashing cavalryman 
mentioned that his men were without a flag of any kind. 
The quick-witted Miss Elliott readily improvised a square 
flag — from a heavy crimson silk curtain, with handsome 
silk fringe. Attached to a hickory pole as a staff, this 
famous flag was placed in his hands by the patriotic young 
girl, with the hope expressed that it would serve his men 
as a battle standard. This completely won the Colonel's 
heart; and they were married while the Revolution was 
still at its height. They were living happily at "Sandy 
Hill" in 1791 ; and the President broke his rule not to ac- 
cept private hospitality because he and William Washing- 
ton were cousins — John Washington, great-grandfather 
of William, being own brother to Lawrence, grandfather 
of George. 1 
At " Sandy Hill " Washington remained the night; and 

1 For a reliable genealogical table, showing this relationship, consult 
"The Genealogy of William Washington," with accompanying table, in 
Proceedings at the Unveiling of the Battle Monument in Spartanburg, S. C, 
in Commemoration of the Centennial of the Battle of the Cowpens. 1781-1881. 
Edited by William A. Courtney (Charleston, S. C, 1896). The cover de- 
sign is a picture in colors of the flag above mentioned. On April 19, 1827, 
this historic flag, which was borne at the Cowpens, Guilford Court-House, 
Hobkirk Hill, Eutaw Springs, and numerous minor engagements, was pre- 
sented by the widow of Colonel William Washington to the Washington 
Light Infantry of Charleston. For details concerning "Sandy Hill" I am 
indebted to the present owner, Judge Henry A. M. Smith. 


Georgia: Savannah 

the following morning (Tuesday, ioth) bade adieu to the 
friends and attendants who had accompanied him thus far 
— except General Moultrie who went as far as Purysburg 
and Major Butler who went all the way to Savannah. 
This day the President and party breakfasted at Judge 
Bee's, 1 twelve miles from Sandy Hill, and after a further 
journey of some eighteen or twenty miles, spent the re- 
mainder of the day, and the night, at "Mr. Obrian 
Smith's." 2 

The President was perhaps prepared, after two quiet 
days, for a resumption of the bombardment — which was 
renewed at Pocotaligo, 3 a point some twenty miles from 
Mr. Smith's, where Washington breakfasted. A large 
gathering awaited him at Pocotaligo; and he sat down to a 
handsome dinner prepared by the " Parishioners of Prince 
William." Here he was presented with the following ad- 
dress by the "Inhabitants of Prince William's Parish": 

To the President of the United States 

Permit us Great Sir to Welcome you most cordially into 
this Parish in your progress thro' the State. 

We are sensibly affected with the Honour you do us, by this 
kind condescending visit — And cannot but embrace the Op- 
portunity of declaring that our Hearts are penetrated with 

1 Thomas Bee, born in South Carolina in 1729; a distinguished lawyer, 
sometime member of the Assembly and of the Privy Council. Served on 
Council of Safety during the Revolution. Was Lieutenant-Governor of 
South Carolina, a member of the Continental Congress (1780-82), and 
later, judge of the United States Court for the District of South Carolina. 
Author of Reports of the District Courts of South Carolina (18 10). 

2 O'Brien Smith, a nephew of James Parsons, probably came from Ire- 
land to South Carolina. He lived in St. Paul's Parish, and was married to a 
Miss Webb in 1785. He died about 181 1. 

3 A town on the Combahee River, York District, South Carolina. In his 
diary Washington comically spells it "Pokitellico." 


Washington's Southern Tour 

the Warmest Sense of our Obligations to you Who under God 
have been the deliverer of the Country and its eminent 
Benefactor in War & in Peace — May you continue to En- 
joy the Exquisite satisfaction that Arises from the Venera- 
tion and gratitude of a great People that has been signally 
benefitted by you as an Anticipation of your heavenly Re- 

By the Unanimous Voice of the People of Prince William's 
Parish The nth day of May 1791 — 

John McPherson 
John Heyward 
Jno. A. Cuthbert 
Felix Warley 
James Maine 
William Heyward 
James E. McPherson 


Address of the 

Inhabitants of Prince William's 

Parish South Carolina 

May 1791 

To which the President made the following reply: 


My best thanks for your cordial welcome and affectionate 
address are not more justly due than they are sincerely of- 
fered. I am much indebted to your good wishes which I recip- 
rocate with grateful regard. 

After dinner the following ' toasts ' were given : 

1. United States of America. 

2. Federal Constitution. 

3. The Parish of Prince William {given by the President). 

4. Vice-President. 

5. The 4th July, 1776. 

6. Lewis the Sixteenth. 

7. National Assembly of France. 

8. Memory of General Greene. 

9. Memory of Colonel John Laurens. 




Georgia: Savannah 

10. Marquis de la Fayette. 

11. Governor of South-Carolina. 

12. The memory of our friends who fell in the glorious cause 
of freedom. 

13. The patriotic fair of America. 

14. Agriculture and commerce of America. 

After the President retired, the following was drunk: 

15. The President of the United States of America. 

That night the President and party dined and lodged 
at "Judge Hayward's." 1 Here, as also at Mr. Smith's, 
says Washington, "we were kindly and hospitably enter- 
tained." By way of explanation he makes the following 
statement in his diary for this day: 

My going to Col Washington's is to be ascribed to motives 
of friendship & relationship; but to Mr. Smith's & Judge 
Hayward's to those of necessity; their being no public houses 
on the Road and my distance to get to these private ones in- 
creased at least 10 or 12 miles between Charleston and Sa- 

On Thursday, as Washington had to ride twenty-two 
miles before breakfast at Purysburg, 2 he set out from 
Judge Heyward's at five o'clock. At Purysburg he was 

1 Thomas Heyward, born in St. Luke's Parish, South Carolina, 1746; died 
March 6, 1809. Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Educated by 
tutors; read law in Charleston and at the Temple, London, England. Re- 
turned home offended by British attitude toward colonists and gained em- 
inence as advocate of freedom. He was a member of the first Assembly 
which was free from royal influence and of the first Committee of Safety in 
his province. Member of Congress 1775-78. He took part in the defence of 
Charleston and was a prisoner for a year. His lands were ravaged and his 
slaves taken away. He served on the bench till 1799; in 1790 helped to 
frame the South Carolina Constitution. 

2 This town, on the Savannah River, was named in honor of John Pury, 
founder of a Swiss settlement in South Carolina. Here, for a time early in 
1779, General Lincoln had his headquarters. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

greeted by five eminent patriots of the Revolution — the 
Honorable Noble Wymberley Jones, Colonel Joseph Hab- 
ersham, the Honorable John Houstoun, General Lachlan 
Mcintosh, and the Honorable Joseph Clay, a committee 
from the City of Savannah. Between ten and eleven 
o'clock the President, with the committee, Major Jackson, 
Major Butler, General Wayne, and Mr. Baillie, went on 
board a handsome boat elegantly fitted out, and was 
rowed down the river by nine American masters of vessels, 
namely, Captains Putnam, Couster, Rice, Fisher, Hunt- 
ingdon, Kershaw, Swain, Mclntire, and Morrison, who 
were dressed in light blue silk jackets, black satin breeches, 
white silk stockings, and round hats with black ribbons 
bearing in letters of gold the device "Long Live the Pres- 
ident." At a point two miles below Purysburg, where the 
horses and carriages were landed for a twelve-mile over- 
land journey to Savannah, Washington, as he quaintly 
puts it, " called upon Mrs. Green the widow of the deceased 
Genl. Green, (at a place called Mulberry Grove) and asked 
her how she did." Washington and Nathanael Greene had 
been very close friends ; and Mrs. Greene had shared with 
both the privations and sufferings of Valley Forge. In addi- 
tion to beauty, Mrs. Greene possessed personal charm, in- 
tuitive perception, and a very acquisitive intellect. "This 
power of rendering available her intellectual stores, com- 
bined with a retentive memory, a lively imagination, and 
great fluency of speech," says Mrs. Ellet, "rendered her 
one of the most brilliant and entertaining of women." 1 

1 Mrs. E. F. Ellet: Women of the Revolution. 





Georgia: Savannah 

Washington doubtless welcomed the opportunity to tell 
her of the many tributes to General Greene he had heard 
upon this journey, demonstrating the secure place he held 
in the people's affection. And she in turn was glad to thank 
in person, and most warmly, the generous Washington 
who had offered to adopt her son and his namesake, give 
him as good an education as North America could afford, 
and have him brought up in any of the genteel professions, 
at his "own cost and charge." Since the death of her hus- 
band from sunstroke in 1786, Mrs. Greene had lived here 
at "Mulberry Grove," an estate which had been presented 
by the State of Georgia to General Greene in testimony of 
appreciation for his services in the Southern campaigns of 
the Revolution. 1 

No doubt it was with reluctance that Washington 
parted from his delightful hostess and set sail once more. 
"The wind and tide being both agst. us," he records, "it 
was 6 o'clock before we reached the City where we received 
every demonstration that could be given of joy and re- 
spect. We were Seven hours making the passage which is 
often performed in 4, tho' the computed distance is 25 
miles." The reception Washington received from the ad- 
miring multitude is admirably described in a contempo- 
rary print: 

1 Here, little more than a year later, under Mrs. Greene's hospitable roof, 
a young inventor, Eli Whitney, constructed the first cotton-gin, in its eco- 
nomic influence one of the most epochal inventions of modern times. For 
an interesting account of this episode and of the life of the Greene family 
in Georgia, consult "Recollections of Washington and his Friends. As Pre- 
served in the Family of General Nathanael Greene." By Martha Little- 
field Phillips: Century Magazine, vol. 55, January, 1898. 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

Within ten miles of the city they were met by a number of 
gentlemen in several boats, and as the President passed by 
them a band of music played the celebrated song, "He comes, 
the Hero comes," accompanied with several voices. On his 
approach to the city the concourse on the Bluff, and the 
crowds which had pressed into the vessels, evinced the gen- 
eral joy which had been inspired by the visit of this most 
beloved of men, and the ardent desire of all ranks and condi- 
tions of people to be gratified by his presence. Upon arriving 
at the upper part of the harbor he was saluted from the 
wharves and by the shipping, and particularly by the ship 
Thomas Wilson, Capt. White, which was beautifully deco- 
rated with the colours of various nations. At the foot of the 
stairs where the President landed he was received by Col. 
Gunn and Gen. Jackson, who introduced him to the Mayor 
and Aldermen of the city. The Artillery Company saluted 
him with 26 discharges from their fieldpieces, and he was then 
conducted to a house prepared by the Corporation for his ac- 
commodation, in St. James's Square, in the following order 
of procession: Light Infantry Company; Field Officers and 
other Officers of the Militia; Marshall of the City; Treasurer 
and Clerk; Recorder; Aldermen; Mayor; President and 
Suite; Committee of Citizens; Members of the Cincinnati; 
Citizens two and two; Artillery Company. 1 

Upon his arrival the President was at once conducted 
to "very good lodging which had been provided for the oc- 
casion" — the inn on the corner of Barnard and State 
Streets. 2 The President and his suite dined with the Cor- 

1 Georgia Gazette, May 18, 1791. Colonel Gunn, it appears, was the 
Recorder of Savannah. 

2 Until recent years, this old inn was a landmark of the city. "Its well- 
worn, time-eaten boards were finally pulled down to make way for the pres- 
ent imposing structure of Odd Fellows Hall." (Consult Historic and Pic- 
turesque Savannah, by Adelaide Wilson, 1889.) "At the time of Washing- 
ton's visit," according to the Historical Record of the City of Savannah, by 
Lee and Agnew (1869), " there were no houses beyond South Broad Street, 
and only five upon that street, all being on the north side. The city limits 
on the east was Lincoln street, and on the west Jefferson street, although 


Georgia: Savannah 

poration at Brown's Coffee House that evening, being es- 
corted thither by the Mayor, Thomas Gibbons, 1 and by 
General Anthony Wayne, the President of the Society of 
the Cincinnati. The following gentlemen were invited to 
partake of the entertainment prepared: the Judges of the 
Superior Courts of the State and Inferior Courts of the 
county, clergy, members of the Legislature, members of 
the Cincinnati, field officers of the militia, President of the 
Union Society, the Recorder and Treasurer of the City. 
The following toasts were drunk, each being succeeded by 
discharges from the field pieces of the Artillery Company: 

i. The United States. 

1. The State of Georgia; may she increase in population 
and wealth. (By the President.) 

3. The happy Occasion. 

4. The Governor of the State. 

5. The Vice-President. 

6. Louis the XVI th. 

there were a number of houses west of the latter named street. Of the five 
houses then standing on South Broad street four remain, viz: 'Eppinger's 
house,' on the northeast corner of Jefferson street, now occupied by Mr. S. 
Davis; the old frame house between Barnard and Jefferson; the frame house 
at the northeast corner of Whitaker; and the old brick house the third 
door east of Drayton street, now occupied by John B. Robinson; the fifth 
house stood where a brick house has just been completed, between Dray- 
ton and Abercorn street." 

1 Thomas Gibbons was a lawyer of Savannah, Georgia, who as early as 
the year 1800 is said to have earned as much as $ 15,000 per annum from 
the practice of law. He also engaged extensively in land speculations, and 
on this question, as well as many others pertinent to the times, was fre- 
quently found on opposing sides to Governor James Jackson. Both men 
being possessed of violent tempers, they finally met on the field of honor, 
but, though three shots were exchanged between them, neither suffered an 
injury. An attestation of the esteem in which Thomas Gibbons was held 
was his election to the Constitutional Convention of 1795 an ^ his represen- 
tation of Chatham County in the General Assembly for the years 1788, 
1789, and 1792. 


Washington* 's Southern Tour 

J. The National Assembly. 

8. The Congress of the United States. 

9. Agriculture and Commerce. 

10. Arts and Sciences. 

11. The fair Daughters of America. 

12. The Sons of Freedom in every part of the globe. 

13. The Marquis de la Fayette. 

1 4. The Memory of Gen. Greene. 

15. The Memory of those brave Men who fell in defence of 
American Liberty. 

The President then retired, and a sixteenth toast was 
given: "The President of the United States." Prior to the 
coming of the President, the Mayor and Aldermen had 
requested the citizens to illuminate their houses, and the 
order was enthusiastically carried out. The result was a 
beautiful illumination of the city — Alderman Scheuber's 
house "showing no less than three hundred lights con- 
tained in the form of a W in front." It was said that the 
ship Thomas Wilson, with a "great number of lanterns 
with lights," was conspicuous for its beauty. 

At some time during the 13th, presumably in the 
forenoon, the committee on behalf of the "Citizens 
of Savannah, and the Inhabitants of its Vicinity," 
consisting of the Honorable Noble Wymberley Jones, 1 

1 Noble Wymberley Jones was born near London, England, in 1723. He 
early removed to Georgia, and took his degree in medicine. After serving 
for a time, as surgeon, with a company of Rangers, he entered upon the 
practice of the medical profession. In 1768 he was elected Speaker of the 
Lower House of Assembly; but in 1770 and 1772, when he was again elected 
Speaker, his pronounced leanings toward independence caused his rejec- 
tion by the Governor's dissolving the Assembly. Although elected by the 
Provincial Congress, January, 1775, a delegate to the Continental Con- 
gress, he declined to serve because the Provincial Congress represented only 
four of the twelve parishes. He assisted on May li, 1775, in breaking open 
the magazine and removing the powder stored there. He was a member of 






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uiniimi nTHii»» iihiimmi u *«=*= * 

m mm mi sjiif iff §J MR 

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._-.-• - 1 *' 


Georgia: Savannah 

Colonel Joseph Habersham, 1 the Honorable John Hous- 
toun, 2 General Lachlan Mcintosh, 3 the Honorable Joseph 

the Provincial Congress of Georgia, July 4, 1775, by which he was elected 
a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was captured in Charleston, 
1780, and sent as a prisoner to St. Augustine. After release in 1781, he set- 
tled in Philadelphia; and while residing there, was reelected by the General 
Assembly of Georgia to the Continental Congress. He returned to Savan- 
nah in 1782. He presided over the Constitutional Convention of Georgia, 
May, 1795. He was President of the Georgia Medical Society, 1804, and 
died in Savannah, January 9, 1805. 

1 Joseph Habersham was born in Savannah, Georgia, July 28, 1751. He 
was graduated from Princeton during the presidency of Dr. Witherspoon. 
In July, 1775, he was instrumental in capturing a British vessel loaded with 
gunpowder and other military stores. He rendered valuable service, politi- 
cal and military, during the Revolution, rising to the rank of colonel in the 
Continental Army. He was twice Speaker of the Georgia General Assem- 
bly; delegate to the Continental Congress (1785-86), and to the convention 
which ratified the Federal Constitution (1788); Mayor of Savannah (1792). 
Appointed in 1795, he served under Washington and Adams as Postmaster- 
General of the United States. He was President of the Branch Bank of the 
United States at Savannah, from 1802 until his death, November 17, 1815. 

2 John Houstoun, son of Sir Patrick Houstoun, Bart., was born in Geor- 
gia, in the parish of St. George, August 31, 1744. In July, 1774, along with 
N. W. Jones, Archibald Bulloch, and others, he called the famous meeting 
at Tondee's Tavern; and was of the committee then appointed which in 
August brought in a very independent series of resolutions. In 1775, he was 
chosen by the Provincial Congress to represent Georgia in the Continental 
Congress; and was again chosen twice in 1776. He was elected Governor of 
Georgia, January 10, 1778; and again in 1784; Chief Justice of Georgia in 
1786; Mayor of Savannah, 1790. He died at White Bluff, near Savannah, 
July 20, 1796. 

3 Lachlan Mcintosh was born near Raits, in Badenoch, Scotland, March 
17, 1724. He emigrated to Georgia with his father in 1735. After serving 
for a time as cadet in General Oglethorpe's regiment, he went to Charles- 
Town and worked in the counting-room of the Honorable Henry Laurens. 
He returned to New Inverness, Georgia, and sat as delegate in the Provin- 
cial Congress, Savannah, July, 1775. On January 7, 1776, he was elected 
colonel of the battalion ordered by the Continental Congress to be raised 
for the defence of Georgia. He was later promoted by the General Assem- 
bly of Georgia to the rank of brigadier-general. On May 16, 1777, he killed 
Button Gwinnett in a duel. Resigning his command in Georgia, he reported 
at Washington's headquarters for active service in the Continental Army. 
After service at different points, he was appointed by the Continental Con- 
gress at Washington's request to the command of the Continental forces in 
Georgia. He was second in command at the siege of Savannah. He retired 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Clay, 1 waited on the President and presented to him 
through its chairman the following address: 


When, having accomplished the great objects of a war, 
marked in its progress with events that astonished while they 
instructed the world, you had again returned to the domestic 
enjoyments of life, to which you were known to be so strongly 
attached, there was little probability, in the common order 
of things, that the People of Georgia, however ardently they 
might desire, should ever be indulged, the happiness of a 
personal interview with you — but summoned again, as you 
were, from your retirement, by the united voice and the obvi- 
ous welfare of your country, you did not hesitate to furnish 
one more proof that, in comparison to the great duties of so- 
cial life, all objects of a private nature are with you but sec- 
ondary considerations; And to this your ruling passion of love 
for your country it is that we owe the opportunity now of- 
fered of congratulating you on your safe arrival in the City of 
Savannah — an office we the Committee, under the warm- 
est impressions of sensibility and attachment, execute in 
the name and behalf of a respectable and grateful number of 

History furnishes instances of some eminently qualified for 
the field, and of others endued with talents adequate to the 
intricate affairs of state; but you, Sir, have enriched the an- 

with General Lincoln to Charles-Town, and was captured upon the surren- 
der of that city. On his release, he retired with his family to Virginia where 
he remained until the termination of hostilities. He returned to Savannah 
in 1782; was elected to the Continental Congress in 1784, and died Febru- 
ary 20, 1786. 

1 Joseph Clay was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, England, October 16, 
1741. He emigrated to Georgia in 1760; and a few years later engaged in a 
general commission business, with his uncle, Governor Habersham, in Sa- 
vannah. He was successful as merchant and planter. He took a prominent 
part in 1774 in protesting against England's unjust policies. He was a 
member of the Council of Safety, and of the Provincial Congress, June, 
1775; appointed Deputy Paymaster-General in Georgia, August 6, 1777; 
delegate from Georgia to the Continental Congress, 1778, 1779, 1780; 
Treasurer of Georgia, 1782. He died in Savannah, November 15, 1804. 


Georgia: Savannah 

nals of America with a proof, to be sent abroad to all man- 
kind, that, however rare the association, the virtues and tal- 
ents of soldier and republican statesman will sometimes dwell 
together, and both characters derive additional lustre from a 
subserviency to the precepts of Religion. 

Roused by oppression at home, and inspired by example 
from America, the people of enlightened nations in Europe 
are now beginning to assert their rights: And it is observable 
that those brave men, the subjects of foreign powers, who 
were votaries to our cause, and companions in your victories, 
are always found foremost in the struggle for just and equal 

You have now, Sir, an opportunity of viewing a state which, 
from its exposed situation, has been peculiarly affected by the 
calamities of war, but which, under the influence of a happy 
Government, will rise fast to that rank of prosperity and im- 
portance to which her natural advantages so justly entitle her, 
and which will enable her to reflect back upon the Union all 
the benefits derived from it. 

We shall always take a deep concern, in common with the 
other citizens of the United States, in whatever regards your 
personal welfare and happiness. We make it our prayer to 
Almighty God that you may be long continued to your coun- 
try her Ornament and Father, and that it may be more and 
more exemplified in you, Sir, that to know how to conquer, 
and to improve the advantages of conquest into blessings to a 
community, are faculties sometimes bestowed on the same 

In the name and on behalf of a number of Citizens of Sa- 
vannah and its Vicinity, convened for the Reception of 
the President, 

N. W. Jones 

Lach. M'Intosh 

Joseph Clay The Committee 

John Houstoun 

Joseph Habersham 

To this address, which contained a notable tribute to 

Washington as the soldier-statesman, he replied as follows: 


Washington's Southern Tour 


I am extremely happy in the occasion now afforded me to 
express my sense of your goodness, and to declare the sincere 
and affectionate gratitude which it inspires. 

The retrospect of past scenes, as it exhibits the virtuous 
character of our country, enhances the happiness of the pres- 
ent hour, and gives the most pleasing anticipation of progres- 
sive prosperity. The individual satisfaction to be derived 
from this grateful reflection must be enjoyed by the deserving 
citizens of Georgia — a state no less distinguished by its 
services than by its sufferings in the cause of freedom. 

That the city of Savannah may largely partake of every 
public benefit which our free and equal Government can dis- 
pense, and that the happiness of its vicinity may reply to the 
best wishes of its inhabitants, is my sincere prayer. 

G. Washington 1 

Probably on this same day was presented to the Presi- 
dent an address of the Church and Society at Midway 
(Medway), Liberty County, Georgia. In 1752, some set- 
tlers from Dorchester and Beach Hill, in South Carolina, 
removed to Midway and Newport in Georgia. On August 
28, 1754, the society formed at Midway and Newport drew 
up articles and rules of incorporation. The members of 
this remarkable society were mostly of a dissenting or con- 
gregational persuasion. In their articles and rules of in- 
corporation, it is recorded that : they agreed, each person, 
"to contribute a reasonable part, according to our ability 
and circumstances, for the support of a standing Ministry 
of the Gospel and its ordinances among us"; and, more- 
over, at their annual meeting and other occasional meet- 

1 The originals of both address and reply are preserved in the De Renne 
Library of Savannah. The address to Washington is described as "an 
eloquent address" in the "autograph of John Rutledge." 


Georgia: Savannah 

ings "every common matter of a Secular Nature shall be 
determined by a majority of Voices or Votes of such con- 
vened persons of the Society, who according to their cir- 
cumstances and capacities, both have been, and continue 
to be, supporters of, and attenders on a Gospel Ministry 
among us, and who are agreeable to these our articles of 
agreement, members of our Society." Further, state the 
records, "We agree to choose annually, three or more Se- 
lect Men, more immediately to manage our Public Busi- 
ness, according to the instructions, powers, and restric- 
tions that shall be given them by the Society." x The 
address to the President and his reply are given below: 

Sir: We feel ourselves happy in an opportunity of express- 
ing our attachment to your person, and our peculiar pleasure 
in your selection by the unanimous voice of your country to 
the Presidency of the United States. 

Though situated in the extreme part of the Union, we have 
gratefully to acknowledge that we already experience the pro- 
pitious influence of your wise and parental administration. 
To the troops stationed on our frontiers by your order, and 
to the treaty lately concluded with the Creek nation under 
your auspices, we are indebted, under Providence, for our 
present tranquility. The hatchet is now buried, and we smoke 
with our Indian neighbours the calumet of peace. This, while 
it affords a happy presage of our future protection, gives, at 
the same time, a recent proof how justly you have earned, in 
your civil as well as military capacity, the glorious title of 
Father of your Country. 

With the laurel, then, be pleased to accept the civic wreath 
from a grateful people. 

We readily conceive how arduous must be the duties, how 
weighty and complicated the cares of office, in the govern- 

1 Consult: The Published Records of Midway Church, vol. i, edited by the 
Reverend James Stacy, D.D. 


JVashi?igto?i i s Southern Tour 

ment of so extensive a Republic as that over which you 
are called to preside. Impressed with a deep sense of this, 
we will not fail to implore the Divine blessing in your behalf. 
May you continue to be directed by that wisdom from above 
which is necessary to the discharge of the duties of your high 
and important station; and may you long be preserved the 
favored instrument of Heaven to secure a free people those 
invaluable rights which you so eminently contributed to res- 
cue from the hand of oppression. Distant as our situation is 
from the Seat of Government, permit us to assure you that 
our influence however inconsiderable in the national scale, 
shall not be wanting in encouraging submission to the laws 
of the United States, and thus under God perpetuate the 
blessings of an efficient Federal Government, now so happily 

(Signed) James Maxwell 

Daniel Stewart Committee in behalf 
A. Holmes of the Church and 

Henry Wood Society. 

John P. Mann 
Midway, Liberty County, May 12, 1791. 

Gentlemen: I learn with gratitude proportioned to the 
occasion, your attachment to my person, and the pleasure 
you express on my election to the Presidency of the United 
States. Your sentiments on the happy influence of our equal 
government impress me with the most sensible satisfaction. 
They vindicate the great cause of humanity. They reflect 
honour on the liberal minds that entertain them, and they 
promise the continuance and improvement of that tranquility 
which is essential to the welfare of nations and the happiness 
of men. 

You overrate my best exertions, when you ascribe to them 
the blessings which our country enjoys. 

From the gallantry and fortitude of her citizens, under the 
auspices of Heaven, America has derived her independence. 
To their industry and the natural advantages of the country, 
she is indebted for her prosperous situation. From their vir- 
tue she may expect long to share the protection of a free and 


Georgia: Savaimah 

equal government, which their wisdom has established, and 
which experience justifies, as admirably adapted to our social 
wants and individual felicity. 

Continue, my fellow-citizens, to cultivate the peace and 
harmony which now subsist between you and your Indian 
neighbours — the happy consequence is immediate — the re- 
flection which arises on justice and benevolence will be last- 
ingly grateful. A knowledge of your happiness will lighten 
the cares of my station, and be among the most pleasing of 
their rewards. 

George Washington. 

Later in the day the President dined with the members 
of that organization which he had taken so much interest 
in founding and, in the face of violent criticism, estab- 
lishing upon a sound footing: The Society of the Cincin- 
nati. On this most enjoyed occasion, which took place 
at Brown's Coffee House, the following toasts were drunk 
"under federal salutes from the Artillery Company": 

i. The United States of America. 

2. The Memory of our worthy deceased Brother Gen. 
Greene (By the President). 

3. The Governor and State of Georgia. 

4. May the virtues which inspired the Revolution continue 
to support the present Establishment. 

5. May the principles of a free government be universally 

6. Agriculture and Commerce. 

7. Louis XVI and the French Nation. 

8. The powers in alliance with the United States. 

9. The Vice President. 

10. The Memory of Dr. Franklin. 

11. The Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers of the late 
American Army. 

12. The Memory of those brave Men who fell in defence of 
American Liberty. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

13. The Members of the Society of the Cincinnati through- 
out the globe. (By the President.) 

14. The American Fair. 

15. The Marquis de la Fayette. 

At this point the President retired, whereupon a six- 
teenth toast was drunk with great joviality and gusto: 
"The President of the United States." 

In the evening the President, as he states in his diary, 
went to "a dancing Assembly at which there was about 
100 well dressed handsome ladies." This "dancing As- 
sembly" — an antique phrase quaintly expressive of light- 
ness and motion — was held at the Filature, a building 
which symbolized a singular phase in the Colony's indus- 
trial history. It was a cherished plan of the Trustees to 
make of Georgia a silk, oil, and wine-growing colony. They 
offered large bounties (1750) to those who would engage in 
the growth of silk; and a "filature for that purpose was 
built the next year to serve as a normal school to the 
town." x This first filature, thirty-six feet long by twenty 
wide, was built of rough boards; and the green cocoons 
were spread in a loft above the one floor. The General 
Assembly, in order to promote the silk culture, actually 
passed an act to the effect that, after June, 1751, "no in- 
habitant could be elected a deputy who had not one hun- 
dred mulberry trees planted and properly fenced, upon 
every tract of fifty acres which he possessed." Despite 
this sustained and persistent effort to interweave the silk 

1 Cf. Adelaide Wilson: Historic and Picturesque Savannah (1889). "This 
building stood on the east side of Reynolds Square where now (1889) stands 
the block of houses known as Cassell's Row." 


Georgia: Savannah 

culture with the fabric of government, the ultimate re- 
sult was failure. Although this filature, together with large 
stores of silk and cocoons, was burnt in 1758, it was rebuilt, 
and for several years used for the manufacture of silk. 
The year 1770 saw the death-throes of the silk culture — 
after which date the Filature was used as a public hall for 
municipal and social entertainments. It was destroyed by 
fire in 1839. 1 

In the Long Room of the Filature took place the public 
ball in honor of the President, thus quaintly described in a 
contemporary print : 

In the evening a Ball, in honor of the President, was given 
at the Long Room in the Filature. At half past 8 o'clock the 
President honored the company with his presence, and was 
personally introduced by one of the Managers to 96 ladies, 
who were elegantly dressed, some of whom displayed infinite 
taste in the emblems and devices on their sashes and head 
dresses, out of respect to the happy occasion. 

The room, which had lately been handsomely fitted up, and 
was well lighted, afforded the President an excellent oppor- 
tunity of viewing the Fair Sex of our city and vicinity, and 
the ladies the gratification of paying their respects to our 
Federal Chief. 

After a few minuets were moved, and one country dance 
led down, the President and his Suit retired about 1 1 o'clock. 
At 12 o'clock the supper room was opened, and the ladies par- 
took of a repast, after which dances continued till 3 o'clock. 

1 Consult Historical Records of the City of Savannah, by F. D. Lee and J. 
L. Agnew (Savannah, 1869). Another interesting act of the Assembly, de- 
signed to stimulate silk culture, stipulated that, after June 24, 1753, no one 
could be a delegate who had not "strictly conformed to the prescribed lim- 
itation of the number of negro slaves in proportion to his white servants, 
who had not in his family at least one female instructed in the act of reel- 
ing silk, and who did not annually produce fifteen pounds of silk for every 
fifty acres of land owned by him." 


Washington's Southern Tour 

The company retired with the happy satisfaction of having 
generally contributed towards the hilarity and gaiety of the 

Retaining his keen interest in the art of war, and de- 
siring to inform himself about important military opera- 
tions during the Revolution, Washington spent the early 
morning of the next day in inspecting the remaining 
traces of the lines constructed by the British for the de- 
fence of Savannah in 1779. As it fortunately chanced, 
General Mcintosh had been second in command under 
General Lincoln at the time of the storming of the works ; 
and gave the President a detached and lively account of 
the principal events of interest which happened during the 
siege and attack of the city. 1 The following unsatisfac- 
tory and accidentally ungrammatical entry is found in the 
President's diary for this day (Saturday, 14th) : 

A little after 6 o'clock, in Company with Genl. Mcintosh, 
Genl. Wayne, 2 the Mayor and many others (principal Gentle- 

1 In a biography of General Mcintosh we find: "Upon the occasion of 
President Washington's visit to Savannah in May, 1791, he was attended 
by General Mcintosh when he inspected the lines constructed by the Brit- 
ish in 1779 for the defence of Savannah, and the approaches and batteries 
then made by the Allied Army. Having himself participated in the siege 
and in the assault of the 9th of October, General Mcintosh was able to con- 
vey to the President full information touching the whole affair. The earth 
mounds covering the slain, the lines of circumvallation, the sand parapets 
and gun chambers, had not then yielded to the influences of time and an 
encroaching population. The scars of the siege were still upon the bosom of 
the plain, and some of the houses within the limits of the city bore the 
marks of the lethal missiles which were then hurled. About him stood those 
who had passed through that baptism of fire. The President exhibited a 
deep interest in everything he then saw and heard." 

2 Anthony Wayne was born in East Town, Chester County, Pennsyl- 
vania, January 1, 1745. After serving as land surveyor and financial agent 
in Nova Scotia, he returned to Pennsylvania. He was a member of the 
Colonial House of Representatives, 1774-75. He was commissioned colo- 













































S ' 








Georgia: Savannah 

men of the City,) I visited the City, and the attack & de- 
fence of it in the year 1779, under the combined forces of 
France and the United States, commanded by the Count de 
Estaing & Genl. Lincoln. 1 — To form an opinion of the at- 
tack at this distance of time, and the change which has taken 
place in the appearance of the ground by the cutting away 
of the woods, &c. is hardly to be done with justice to the sub- 
ject; especially as there is remaining scarcely any of the de- 

Dined to day with a number of the Citizens (not less than 
200) in an elegant Bower erected for the occasion on the Bank 
of the River below the Town. — In the evening there was a 
tolerable good display of fireworks. 

On the preceding day, in the Council Chamber, the 
Aldermen of Savannah had drawn up and ratified an 
address to the President. Accordingly the officials of the 
City now waited in a body on the President — presumably 
about noon on Saturday — resplendent in all the bravery 
of their official insignia. The Marshal carried a white 
staff six and a half feet long, bearing the device "M.C.S." 

nel of the Fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania troops, January 3, 1776; com- 
missioned brigadier-general, February 21, 1777, and joined the army under 
General George Washington in New Jersey. He served brilliantly through- 
out the Revolution, his best-known achievement being the capture of 
Stony Point, for which he received the thanks of Congress and of the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Pennsylvania. He received brevet rank of major-general, 
October 10, 1783. He removed to Georgia and settled on a tract of land 
donated him by that State as a recompense for his military service, and 
served in the Second Congress, as Representative from Georgia, March 4, 

1791, to March 21, 1792. Nominated by Washington as major-general and 
General-in-Chief of the United States Army, he was confirmed April 3, 

1792. Defeated the Indian tribes of the Northwest at the battle of Fallen 
Timbers, August 20, 1794. He is known as "Mad Anthony Wayne" for his 
unexpected success in perilous expeditions. Washington describes him as 
"more active and enterprising than judicious and cautious." He died in 
Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, December 15, 1796. 

1 Traces of these lines of defence are still visible in the rear of the town. 
For an account of their appearance as late as 1848, see Lossing. 


TVashingtorfs Southern Tour 

in white letters on a red field; the Constable carried a blue 
staff of like proportions, bearing the name and number 
of his ward in white letters on a red field ; and even the 
scavenger, if he were there — and what city official, espe- 
cially the scavenger, would have been absent on such an 
occasion! — bore his staff of office, one foot long, black 
with each end red. The Mayor of the Corporation, 
Thomas Gibbons, delivered the following address to the 
President, in the presence of a respectful and interested 


The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah do unan- 
imously concur in presenting their most affectionate con- 
gratulations to you on your arrival in this city. Impressed 
with a just sense of your great and eminent services to 
America, permit us, the Representatives of the City, to as- 
sure you of the high opinion the citizens entertain of your 
elevated virtues. 

We respect you as one of the richest and most valuable 
blessings divine goodness has bestowed on the People of these 
United States; your presence is an evidence of the watchful 
care you have for every part of the extended empire over 
which you preside. If we cannot, by external shew, demon- 
strate that respect for you which is in the power of the more 
wealthy of our sister states to display, yet none estimate your 
merits higher than the People of Georgia. The historic page 
bears record of our sufferings in the late Revolution, and the 
vestiges of war remain within view of our capital; and al- 
though peace was, in 1783, restored to America, yet Georgia 
continued to suffer under the destructive ravages of an Indian 
war, and it has been reserved for the efficacy of the present 
Government to give peace to our state. 

May the blessings of the Government long continue under 
your administration, and may it please the Great Ruler of 
Events to grant you long residence on earth, and to length of 


Georgia: Savannah 

days add the blessings of uninterrupted health, that the ad 
vantages of the present Government may be permanently 

Th. Gibbons, Mayor 

Council Chamber, May 13, 1791. 

The President in his answer complied with the formalities 
of the occasion: 


Your affectionate congratulations on my arrival in this 
city, and the very favorable sentiments you express towards 
me, are received with gratitude, and thanked with sincerity. 
Estimating favors by the cordiality with which they are be- 
stowed, I confess with real pleasure, my obligations to the 
Corporation of Savannah, and I can never cease to entertain 
a grateful sense of their goodness. 

While the virtuous conduct of your citizens, whose patriot- 
ism braved all the hardships of the late war, engaged my es- 
teem, the distress peculiar to the state of Georgia, after the 
peace, excited my deepest regret. 

It was with singular satisfaction I perceived that the effi- 
cacy of the General Government could interpose effectual re- 
lief, and restore tranquillity to so deserving a Member of the 
Union. Your sentiments on this event are worthy of citizens, 
who, placing a due value on the blessings of peace, desire to 
maintain it on the immutable principles of justice and good 

May the harmony of your city be consequent on your ad- 
ministration, and may you individually be happy. 1 

G. Washington 

1 It is worthy of remark that Savannah's streets, "State," "Congress," 
"President," recall the events of the Revolution; and even more definitely 
the city wards which have the names; Washington, Greene, Warren, and 
Franklin. A quotation from a recent address by P. W. Meldrin, when 
Mayor of Savannah, epitomizes the city's romantic history: "Every spot 
is hallowed. Where the Vernon River flows by Beaulieu, the dashing d'Es- 
taing landed to make his attack with the allied forces of Savannah. Hard 
by is Bethesda, 'House of Mercy,' where Jew, Protestant and Roman 
Catholic united in founding Georgia's noblest charity. There it was that 


Washington'' s Southern Tour 

The Grand Lodge of Masons of Georgia, desirous of 
paying tribute to the illustrious brother on the occasion of 
his visit to the city, gathered at Brown's Coffee House on 
Saturday; and there proceeded in Masonic order to the 
house provided for the President, where the following ad- 
dress was delivered by George Houstoun, Grand Master of 
all the Masons in the State of Georgia: 

Sir, and Brother, 

The Grand Master, Officers, and Members of the Grand 
Lodge of Georgia, beg leave to congratulate you on your ar- 
rival in this city. 

Whilst your exalted character claims the respect and defer- 
ence of all men, they, from the benevolence of masonic princi- 
ples, approach you with the familiar declaration of fraternal 

Happy indeed that Society, renowned for its antiquity, and 
pervading influence over the enlightened world, which, having 
ranked a Frederic at its head, can now boast of a Washing- 
ton as a Brother — a Brother who is justly hailed the Re- 
deemer of his Country, raised it to glory, and by his con- 
duct in public and private life has evinced to Monarchs, that 
true majesty consists not in splendid royalty, but in intrinsic 

With these sentiments they rejoice at your presence in this 
state, and, in common with their fellow citizens, greet you 
thrice welcome, flattering themselves that your stay will be 
made agreeable. 

Wesley sang his inspired songs and Whitefield with his eloquence thrilled 
the world. On the river is the grove where General Greene lived and died, 
and Whitney wrought from his fertile brain the wonderful invention which 
revolutionized commerce. Near at hand, almost sunk into oblivion, is the 
spring made historic by the daring of Jasper and Newton. There stands 
Savannah's pride, her Academy of Arts and Science. Over there is the 
home where Washington was entertained, and across the street are the guns 
which he captured at Yorktown. Here, at our very feet, Casimir Pulaski 
fell, charging at the head of his legion, while Jasper, rescuing the colors, 
yielded up his gallant life." 


Georgia: Savannah 

May the Great Architect of the Universe preserve you, 
whilst engaged in the work allotted you on earth, and long 
continue you the brightest pillar of our temple; and, when the 
supreme flat shall summon you hence, they pray the Mighty 
I Am may take you into his holy keeping. 

George Houstoun, Grand Master of 
All Masons in the State of Georgia. 
Grand Lodge in Savannah, 14M May, 1791. 

The President neatly "covered the ground" in his very 
brief reply: 


I am much obliged by your congratulations on my arrival 
in this city, and I am highly indebted to your favorable 

Every circumstance concurs to render my stay in Savannah 
agreeable, and it is cause of regret to me that it must be so 

My best wishes are offered for the welfare of the Fraternity 
and for your particular happiness. 

G. Washington 

The formal ceremonies being concluded, the Grand 
Master introduced to the President the Right Worshipful 
Past Grand Master, officers, and members. 

On this day was presented to Washington the address of 
the German Congregation of Ebenezer — which is unique 
in that it is written in Latin. It follows below: 

To the President of the United States of America. 

Permittas, quaeso, Illustrissime Washington! ut devoti 
piique animi sensa tibi declarem, cui contigerit insignis ilia 
felicitas, te Savannae adeundi, virum, tot tantisque factis 
illustrem. Profecto admiratus sum tuam humanitatem et 
indulgentiam, qua me hominem ignotum excepisti, qui non 
ausus essem ad te accedere nisi ab amico optimo certior factus 
essem, tristem abs te discedere neminem. Georgia laetatur de 


Washirigtorfs Southern Tour 

te et Splendidissima praesentia, qua earn exhibarare dignatus 
es. Diu vivas o Washington ! deliciae americani populi, tuum- 
que nomen, et facta illustria vera posteritas celebrabit. Sem- 
per precabor Deum Optimum Maximum, qui te praesidem 
harum civitatum constituit, ut omnibus rebus conatibusque 
Tuis propitius adsit. Accipe hanc tenuiorem epistolam, nullo 
ornatu commendabilem, eadem indulgentia, qua me excipere 
dignatus es. Anglice quidem scripturus eram si facultate 
pollerem eleganter scribendi, et ut dignum esse posset insigni- 
bus virtutibus et illustrissimis Factis tuis. Peregrimes, in 
hanc provinciam missus sum benignissimam doctrinam Re- 
demtoris nostri profitendi inter posteros colonorum Salisbur- 
gensium, quos inprimis quia curae meae concrediti sunt, cum 
omni gente germanica Georgiae Americanae Tuo potentissimo 
patrocinio magnopere comendo. Ego vero nunquam desinam 
ardentissimas preces mittere ad Deum benignissimum, pro 
totius populi Americani salute. 

John Earnst Bergman, 
Minister of the German Congregation of Ebenezer 
Savannah d. 14. May 1791. 

The events for the remainder of this day and evening, 
in which the President participated are thus excellently 
described in a contemporary print : 

In the afternoon the President honored the Citizens with 
his company at a dinner prepared for him under a beautiful 
arbor, supported by three rows of pillars, entirely covered 
with laurel and bay leaves, so as to exhibit uniform green 
columns. The pillars were higher than the arbor, and orna- 
mented above it by festoons, and connected below by arches 
covered in the same manner. The place on which it stood was 
judiciously chosen, presenting at once a view of the city and 
of the shipping in the harbor, with an extensive prospect of 
the river and rice lands both above and below the town. But 
the principal advantage which resulted from its situation and 
structure was the opportunity which it afforded to a great body 
of people to have a distinct and uninterrupted view of that 
object to which all eyes and hearts appeared to be attracted. 


Georgia: Savannah 

A company of nearly 200 citizens and strangers dined un- 
der it, and the satisfaction which each one enjoyed in paying 
this personal tribute to the merit of a man who is, if possible, 
more beloved for his goodness than admired for his greatness, 
produced a degree of convivial and harmonious mirth rarely 

Every one beheld with delight in the person of our Presi- 
dent the able General, the virtuous Patriot, the profound 
Politician; in a word, one of the most shining ornaments that 
ever dignified human nature. 

The Artillery Company dined under another arbor erected 
at a small distance, and received merited applause for the 
great dexterity which they displayed in firing at each toast. 
Their fires were returned by Fort Wayne, and the ship 
Thomas Wilson, which was moored opposite to the arbor; her 
decorations through the day, and illumination at night, had a 
fine effect. 

The following toasts were given: 

1. The United States of America. 

2. Prosperity to the Citizens of Savannah and its vicinity. 
(By the President.) 

3. The Fair of America. 

4. The Vice-President of the United States. 

5. The memorable Era of Independence. 

6. The Count d'Estaing. 

7. The Memory of General Greene. 

8. The Arts and Sciences. 

9. The Memory of those brave Men who fell before the 
Lines of Savannah on the 9th of October, 1779. 

10. The Friends to free and equal government throughout 
the globe. 

11. All foreign Powers in Friendship with the United States. 

12. May Religion and Philosophy always triumph over Su- 
perstition and Prejudice in America. 

13. The present dexterous Corps of Artillery (The Presi- 
dent's toast). 

(After the President retired.) 

The President of the United States. 


Washington's Sontheim Tour 

The construction of the arbor, and the manner in which the 
entertainment was provided and conducted, did great honor 
to the gentlemen to whose direction the whole was com- 

In the evening there was a handsome exhibition of fire- 
works, and the amusements of this day of joy and festivity 
were concluded by a Concert. 

The Chatham Artillery Company, which won such favor 
in the President's eyes during his stay in Savannah, was 
organized on May i, 1786. On the 20th of June follow- 
ing it was called upon to pay the soldier's tribute to the 
memory of Major-General Nathanael Greene. This Rev- 
olutionary hero had settled at "Mulberry Grove" in 1783, 
and frequently visited Savannah. A sunstroke carried 
him off on June 19, 1786. At the front of the funeral 
procession was the Chatham Artillery firing minute guns 
and advancing; and at the grave it fired a salute of thirteen 
guns. Not long after the President's departure, this com- 
pany received from the President the gift of the "Wash- 
ington Guns," two six-pounder bronze fieldpieces. Upon 
one of the guns are inscribed the words: "Surrendered by 
the capitulation of York Town, October nineteenth, 1781. 
Honi soit qui mat y pense. — G. R." — with the imperial 
crown. It was cast in 1756, during the reign of George II. 
These guns, though long since lost to service, are prized as 
precious relics by the ancient artillery company. In this 
connection it may be mentioned that at the house of 
General Greene, near Savannah, his daughter in 1807 re- 
ceived the brass cannon, captured at Eutaw Springs, which 

Congress voted to her gallant father. 






Georgia: Savcuinah 

The day after the departure of "General Washington," 
as he was usually called, the following card appeared in 
the public journals of Savannah: 

General Jackson 1 requests Captain Else of the Artillery, 
and Montfort of the Volunteer Infantry, to accept his best 
thanks for their soldierly conduct at the reception, during the 
stay, and on the departure of the President. He likewise pre- 
sents his thanks to the Commissioned and Non-Commissioned 
Officers and Privates of each Corps. 

It is a pleasure to the General to announce to the Artillery 
the very general applause they received on Saturday, and, 
what ought to immortalize the corps, the approbation of their 
conduct, expressed in the warmest terms by the Commander 
in Chief of the United States. The General hopes that this 
character, so firmly established, will long continue them an 
ornament to the Militia, and an honor to the State of Georgia. 

1 James Jackson was born in Moreton-Hampstead, Devonshire, Eng- 
land, September 21, 1757. He removed to Georgia in 1772 and located in 
Savannah. He studied law just prior to the Revolution. He first served in 
1776 as a private in the Volunteer Light Infantry of Savannah; was soon 
promoted to command of the company. He served throughout the Revolu- 
tion, and participated in many engagements, notably Blackstocks and the 
Cowpens. He was appointed by the Legislature to the command of the 
Georgia Legion, and remained in command until the evacuation of Savan- 
nah, receiving the keys of the city from the British, July 12, 1782. After 
the Revolution he resumed the practice of law. On the organization of the 
State militia, he was appointed to the command of the Chatham Regiment; 
was later a brigadier of the State, and ultimately major-general of the 
First Division. He was a member of the first Constitutional Convention of 
Georgia, in 1777; clerk of the court, by election of the Provincial Congress, 
1776-77. Member of the Georgia House of Representatives on various oc- 
casions, from 1781 to 1788. In 1788, at the age of thirty-one, he was elected 
governor of Georgia, but declined on the score of youth and inexperience. 
Elected to the First Congress (March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791); contested 
the election of Anthony Wayne in the Second Congress, and the seat was 
declared vacant by the House, March 21, 1792. Elected to the United 
States Senate and served from March 4, 1793, until his resignation in 1795. 
Was presidential elector in 1797; governor of Georgia, 1798-1801; again 
elected to the United States Senate, and served from March 4, 1801, until 
his death in Washington, D.C., March 16, 1806. His remains were in- 
terred in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

The Field Officers of the Chatham Regiment will be pleased 
to communicate this order, and to receive the General's high- 
est commendations of their attention to the duties required of 

Jas. Jackson 
Brigadier General first District 
Savannah, May sixteenth, 1791- 


Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina 

THE graciousness and hospitality of the people of 
Savannah made a most pleasant impression upon 
the President. He was in no hurry to leave; and "took 
things easy" on Sunday. After attending morning service, 
he held quite a reception at his lodgings — as he records in 
the diary, " receiving a number of visits from the most 
respectable ladies of the place (as was the case yester- 
day)." The use of the adjective in this association is 
strange to modern ears, and provokes a smile. When he 
finally did make a late start, he had a splendid farewell 
retinue — being " Escorted beyond the limits of the City 
by most of the Gentlemen in it." 

If Washington was pleased by his reception in Savan- 
nah, the people of Savannah were equally pleased — and 
probably more enthusiastic in expression than the digni- 
fied and impassive Washington. The following tribute to 
Washington after his departure appeared in the "Georgia 
Gazette" of Savannah and deserves quotation in full: 

It is highly pleasing to a grateful and patriotic mind to re- 
flect upon the happy consequences which will probably flow 
from the tour which the President is now performing. His ad- 
mirable qualities has long since extended his fame to the ut- 
most limits of civilization, but it is only by personal inter- 
views that a just idea can be acquired of the amiableness of 


Washington's Southern Tour 

his temper and his engaging manners. The intelligent seren- 
ity of his countenance, the unaffected ease and dignity of his 
deportment, while they excite the most profound respect, 
naturally rivet the affections to him. As the most unlimited 
confidence is reposed in his prudence, abilities, and patriot- 
ism, this effect must have essential influence in giving energy 
to that government in the administration of which he has so 
considerable a part. 

Once more Washington had the pleasure of dining with 

his sprightly and charming friend, Mrs. Greene. A glimpse 

of the life at "Mulberry Grove" is caught in a letter Mrs. 

Greene wrote to a friend, Miss Flagg: 

If you expect to be an inhabitant of this country, you must 
not think to sit down with your netting pins; but on the con- 
trary employ half your time at the toilet, one quarter to pay- 
ing and receiving visits; the other quarter to scolding serv- 
ants, with a hard thump every now and then over the head; 
or singing, dancing, reading, writing, or saying your prayers. 
The latter is here quite a phenomenon; but you need not tell 
how you employ your time. 

An even more explicit description is given by General 

Greene shortly after his arrival there in 1785: 

We found the house, situation, and out-buildings more con- 
venient and pleasing than we expected. The prospect is de- 
lightful, and the house magnificent. We have a coach house 
and stables, a large out kitchen, and a poultry-house nearly 
fifty feet long, and twenty wide, parted for different kinds of 
poultry, with a pigeon-house on the top, which will contain 
not less than a thousand pigeons. Besides these, are several 
other buildings convenient for a family, and among the rest, 
a fine smoke-house. The garden is in ruins, but there are still 
a great variety of shrubs and flowers in it. 1 

1 In another letter to his friend Ethan Clark, of Newport, Rhode Island, 
to whom the above letter is addressed, Greene says (April, 1786): "This is a 
busy time with us, and I can afford but a small portion of time to write. 





MUVEIftlTY 8FJ!L|{«0|S 

Augusta and Columbia 

After a delightful sojourn here of a few hours, during 
which he dined with his charming hostess, the President 
set forth once more on the "open road," and after trav- 
elling fifteen miles lodged at "one Spencers." Washing- 
ton's observations upon Savannah, and his brief record of 
the wholly uneventful two days (Monday and Tuesday) 
which followed, are copied below: 

Savanna stands upon what may be called high ground for 
this Country — It is extremely sandy wch makes the walking 
very disagreeable; & the houses uncomfortable in warm & 
windy weather, as they are filled with dust whenever these 
happen. — The town on 3 sides is surrounded with cultivated 
Rice fields which have a rich and luxuriant appearance. On 
the 4th or backside it is a fine sand. — The harbour is said to 
be very good, & often filled with square rigged vessels, but 
there is a bar below over which not more than 12 feet water 
can be brot. except at sprg. tides. — The tide does not flow 
above or 12 or 14 miles above the City though the River is 
swelled by it more than double that distance. — Rice & To- 
bacco (the last of wch. is greatly increasing) are the principal 
Exports — Lumber & Indigo are also Exported, but the lat- 
ter is on the decline, and it is supposed by Hemp & Cotton. — 
Ship timber, viz: live Oak & Cedar, is (and may be more so) 
valuable in the exptn. 

We are planting. We have got upwards of sixty acres of corn planted, and 
expect to plant one hundred and thirty of rice. The garden is delightful. 
The fruit-trees and flowering shrubs form a pleasing variety. We have 
green peas almost fit to eat, as fine lettuce as ever you saw. The mocking 
birds surround us evening and morning. The weather is mild, and the 
vegetable kingdom is progressing to perfection. But it is a great deduction 
from the pleasure we should feel from the beauties and conveniences of the 
place, that we are obliged to leave it before we shall have tasted of several 
kinds of fruits. We have in the same orchard apples, pears, peaches, apri- 
cots, nectarines, plums of different kinds, figs, pomegranites, and oranges. 
And we have strawberries which measure three inches around. All these 
are clever, but the want of our friends to enjoy them with us renders them 
less interesting." Consult G. W. Greene: Life of Nathanael Greene (Hough- 
ton, Mifflin & Co., 1890). 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Monday, 16th. 

Breakfasted at Russells — 15 miles from Spencer's — 
dined at Garnets 19 further & lodged at Pierces 8 miles more, 
in all — 42 miles to day. 

Tuesday, ijth. 

Breakfasted at Spinner's 17 miles — dined at Lamberts 13 
— and lodged at Waynesborough (wch. was coming 6 miles 
out of our way) 14, in all 43 miles — Waynesborough is a 
small place, but the Seat of the Court of Burkes County — 
6 or 8 dwelling houses is all it contains; — an attempt is mak- 
ing (without much apparent effect) to establish an Academy 
at it as is the case also in all the Counties. 

The preparations for Washington's reception by the 
citizens of Augusta are most succinctly exhibited in the 
orders issued from time to time, and published in the 
"Augusta Chronicle" of May 21st: 

Government House 
Augusta, April 25, 1791 

General Order. 

Ambrose Gordon, 1 Esq. Major of the Richmond County 
regiment of militia, with not less than fourteen volunteers, 
are directed to hold themselves in readiness to march and es- 
cort the President of the United States to this place. 
By order of the Commander in Chief. 

Attest. J. Meriwether, Sec'y. 

Government House 
May 9, 1 79 1 

General Order. 

Major Gordon is directed to march without delay with 

1 Colonel Ambrose Gordon, 1751-1804, soldier of the Revolution and of- 
ficer of the Georgia State militia, was born in New Jersey, June 28, 1751. 
Removing to Georgia he settled in Washington County in 1784. His death 
occurred January 28, 1804, and the body rests in old St. Paul's churchyard 
at Augusta, Georgia. 


Augusta and Columbia 

the escort ordered the 25th April last, the nearest route to 

By order of the Commander in Chief. 
Attest. J. Meriwether, Sec'y. 

Tuesday, May 17, 1791. 

That the State Officers, together with General Twiggs * 
and the sheriffof Richmond County, do assemble at the State- 
house to-morrow at 1 1 o'clock, a.m. from whence they are to 
proceed in the following order of procession to meet the Presi- 
dent of the United States: 

The sheriffof Richmond County — General Twiggs — The 
Secretary of the state — The Governor's Secretary — His 
Excellency the Governor — Judge Walton — Governor's Sec- 
retary — The Treasurer, The Solicitor General — The Attor- 
ney General, The Surveyor General, Clerk of the House of 
Representatives — Secretary of the Senate. 

That the artillery take post at the old fort — and upon the 
President's approach to the town, to fire a salute of fifteen 

Attest. J. Meriwether, S. E. D. 

1 General John Twiggs was born in one of the Northern States, Mary- 
land, it is thought, June 5, 1750. Some time prior to the Revolution, he re- 
moved to Georgia accompanying John Emanuel, whose daughter Ruth he 
married. Settling in St. Paul's Parish (Richmond County), he at once iden- 
tified himself with the Georgia patriots, among whom his genius for com- 
mand soon made him an acknowledged leader. During the war he com- 
manded an independent body of troops, and record is left of no braver or 
more efficient officer. 

For his gallant services he was made Brigadier-General in 1781 and later 
given extensive tracts of land by the Georgia Legislature. He filled many 
important public offices, including several terms in the General Assembly; 
represented the State in treaty negotiations with the Indians at Augusta in 
1803; and, having been raised to the rank of Major-General in 1792, was re- 
quested, as ranking militia officer, to take charge of the State Government 
in the interregnum of two months following the retirement of Governor 
Mathews from office. This, however, he modestly declined to do. He died 
March 29, 18 16. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

State house, Augusta, May 18, 1791 
The officers having assembled agreeably to the order of 
yesterday, at 11 o'clock set forward, accompanied by a nu- 
merous train of respectable citizens; at the distance of five 
miles from town, the President of the United States ap- 
peared in sight, when the procession halted, at which time he 
alighted from his coach, mounted his horse, and advanced 
with Major Jackson and the Federal Marshal; his excellency 
the Governor at the same time, attended by the Secretary of 
the State, moved forward, and after being announced, con- 
gratulated the President on his near approach to the resi- 
dence of government; — this ceremony being ended, the pro- 
cession was resumed, and the President conducted to the 
house provided for his reception. 
Attest. W. Urquhart, S. E. D. 

In his diary Washington made the following brief state- 

Breakfasted at Tulcher's 15 miles from Waynesborough; 
and within 4 miles of Augusta met the Govor. [Telfair], 1 

1 Edward Telfair was born in 1735 on the farm of Town Head, Scotland. 
Educated at the grammar school of Kirkudbright, he emigrated to Amer- 
ica at the age of twenty-three as the representative of a business house. He 
settled first in Virginia, next lived for a time in Halifax, North Carolina, 
and in 1766 settled in Savannah, Georgia. He was a member of committees 
in July, 1 774, raised by the people of Georgia for assisting the other colonies 
in asserting American rights; delegate to the Provincial Congress of Geor- 
gia, January, 1775; assisted in seizing the powder in the public magazine in 
Savannah. In June, 1775, he was elected a member of the Council of Safety ; ; 
and was a delegate to the Provincial Congress of Georgia, July, 1775. In 
1778 he was chosen a delegate from Georgia to the Continental Congress, 
serving until January, 1783; reelected in May, 1785, but did not serve. He 
was chosen Boundary Commissioner in 1783; and the same year assisted in 
negotiating treaties with the Indians. He was elected Governor of Geor- 
gia in 1786; and was a member of the Convention which ratified the Consti- 
tution of the United States. In 1789 he was again elected Governor of 
Georgia. He died in Savannah, September 19, 1807. He accumulated a 
considerable fortune, and the charitable bequests of his daughters are re- 
membered with gratitude for their magnitude and liberal scope. 





Augusta and Columbia 

Judge Walton, 2 the Attorney Genl. & most of the principal 
Gentlemen of the place; by whom I was escorted into the 
Town, & reed, under a discharge of Artillery, — the distance 
I came to day was about 32 miles. . . . 

The road from Savanna to Augusta is, for the most part, 
through Pine barrens; but more uneven than I had been ac- 
customed to since leavg. Petersburgh in Virginia, especially 
after riding about 30 miles from the City of that name; here 
& there indeed, a piece of Oak land is passed on this Road, 
but of small extent & by no means of the first quality. 

The President was conducted by "the upper road"; and 
arriving at Augusta about one o'clock, accompanied by 
a numerous retinue, rode through lines of cheering specta- 
tors down Broad Street to the house prepared for his en- 
tertainment, Captain Howell's artillery all the while firing 
salutes. A feature of the parade was a detachment under 
the command of Major Ambrose Gordon, of the Augusta 
Volunteer Light Horse, who "cut a very superb appear- 
ance — their uniform being blue, faced with red and laced 

2 George Walton, born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, in 1749; he 
became an orphan at an early age. When twenty years old, he removed to 
Savannah, Georgia, and there entered upon the practice of law. He took 
an active part in the popular movements looking toward independence in 
1774. He was elected a member of the Council of Safety, June 22, 1775; 
and acted as Secretary of the Provincial Congress which convened at Sa- 
vannah, July 4, 1775. He drafted the famous address to the people of Geor- 
gia on the state of American affairs. Chosen as delegate to the Continental 
Congress by the Provincial Congress which assembled in Savannah, Janu- 
ary 20, 1776, he continued as a member of the Continental Congress until 
October, 1781, save for an interval in 1779, when he filled the gubernatorial 
chair of Georgia. As colonel of the First Battalion of the First Regiment of 
Foot Militia, he was sorely wounded in the defence of Savannah, Decem- 
ber, 1778. In January, 1783, he was elected Chief Justice of the State of 
Georgia. In 1787 he was appointed a delegate from the State of Georgia to 
the Federal Convention, but did not attend. In 1789 he was again elected 
Governor of Georgia. In 1795 anc ^ J 79^ ne represented Georgia in the Con- 
tinental Congress. For fifteen years and until his death, February 2, 1804, 
he served as Judge of the Middle Circuit of Georgia. 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

with silver, their caps and other accoutrements equal to 

their uniforms, and the horses nearly of a colour and in 

good order." 

Governor Telfair's family residence, "The Grove," near 

Augusta, was the scene of a large and brilliant dinner to 

the President at four o'clock in the afternoon of this day. 

Here were gathered many patriots who, like the Governor, 

during the Revolution 

On war's red touchstone 
Rang true metal. 

After dinner, when stories and anecdotes regaled the 

over-grave President until he quite unbent, the following 

toasts were drunk: 

i. The United States. 

i. The State of Georgia. (The President's toast.) 

3. The joyful occasion. 

4. The Vice-President. 

5. The 4th of July, 1776. 

6. The 17th October, 1777. 

7. 19th October, 1781. 

8. The first of May. 

9. The memory of General Greene. 

10. The memory of those who bravely fell in defence of 

American Liberty. 
n. Our Ministers at Foreign Courts. 

12. Agriculture. 

13. Commerce. 

14. Arts and sciences. 

15. Republican virtue. 

Especial significance in the minds of the assembled 

guests attached to two of the toasts — the 17th October, 

1777, when Burgoyne surrendered five thousand eight 

hundred men at Saratoga; and the 19th October, 1781 — 


Augusta and Columbia 

when the famous soldier, Lord Cornwall is, yielded to com- 
bined American and French forces under Washington at 
Yorktown and virtually brought to a close the bitter and 
protracted struggle for independence. Later the Presi- 
dent drank tea with "many well dressed ladies" — an 
enthusiastic compliment as coming from Washington, who 
usually thought he had done his full duty by the fair sex 
when he called them "respectable." Mrs. Telfair gave a 
ball "to the Ladies" that evening at "The Grove," at 
which the President was present for a short time. 

On Thursday morning the citizens of Augusta voted to 
the President, and forthwith presented to him the following 


Your journey to the southward being extended to the 
frontier of the Union affords a fresh proof of your indefati- 
gable zeal in the service of your country, and an equal atten- 
tion and regard to all the people of the United States. With 
these impressions the citizens of Augusta present their con- 
gratulations upon your arrival here in health, with the assur- 
ance that it will be their greatest pleasure, during your stay 
with them, to testify the sincere affection thay have for your 
person, their sense of obligations for your merits and services, 
and their entire confidence in you as the Chief Magistrate of 
their country. On your return, and at all times, their best 
wishes will accompany you, while they retain the hope that a 
life of virtue, benevolence, and patriotism, may be long pre- 
served, for the benefit of the age, and example to posterity. 

In the name of all the citizens, 

George Walton, Peter Carnes, 

John Meals, Seaborn Jones. 1 

Thomas Cumming, 

Augusta, May 19, 1791. 

Thomas Cumming, first Intendant of the Town of Augusta, and first 


Washington's Southern Tour 

To this simple and friendly address, the President re- 
plied as follows: 


I receive your congratulations on my arrival in Augusta 
with great pleasure. I am much obliged by your assurances 
of regard, and thank you with unfeigned sincerity for the fa- 
vorable sentiments you are pleased to express towards me. 

Entreating you to be persuaded of my gratitude, I desire to 
assure you, that it will afford me the most sensible satisfac- 
tion to learn the progression of your prosperity. My best 
wishes for your happiness, collectively and individually, are 
sincerely offered. 

G. Washington. 

president of Georgia's oldest bank, the Bank of Augusta, chartered Decem- 
ber 6, 1810, was born May 30, 1765, and died March 6, 1834, in Augusta, 
Georgia, where he lies buried. He was a man of outstanding prominence 
and broad interests. For many years he was a trustee of Richmond County 
Academy and was one of the commissioners appointed in 1791 to examine 
into the condition of the State Treasury. His oldest son, William Cum- 
ming, was a gallant soldier of the War of 1 8 1 2, holding the rank of Colonel 
in the United States Army. 

Peter Johnston Carnes, one of the delegation of five Augusta citizens, 
presenting President Washington on his visit to Georgia in 1791 a welcome 
address printed on parchment, was a man of prominence and ability. A 
member from Jefferson County to the Constitutional Convention of 1798, 
he was the author of the clause prohibiting the further importation of slaves 
into the State. During the years 1 799-1 804 Peter Carnes and George Wal- 
ton served as Solicitor-General and Judge, respectively, of the Middle Cir- 
cuit of Georgia. 

Seaborn Jones, Revolutionary patriot, was born in Halifax County, 
North Carolina, in 1758. He was one of seven sons, and, after the death of 
their father, the family moved to Georgia, settling in what was later Burke 
County, just prior to the Revolution in which all seven of the brothers 
served. Following the war, Seaborn Jones, then a man of prominence in his 
section, filled with distinction a number of high public offices, being the 
first Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives under the Constitu- 
tion of 1789; one of Georgia's four presidential electors of 1793; a member 
in the General Assembly in 1787, 1789, and 1790, and Intendantor Mayor 
of Augusta, Georgia, for several years. He was a pew-holder in old St. 
Paul's Church, and a trustee of the Richmond County Academy. His 
death occurred about 1823 and the body lies buried in St. Paul's church- 





























































Augusta and Columbia 

At half-past ten o'clock on the morning of this day the 
Augusta Volunteer Light Horse encamped on the bank of 
the river. After pitching their tents and finishing their 
pickets, they 

completed a very handsome grove, which looked as if the 
beautiful hand of nature had exerted herself on this joyous oc- 
casion, and seconded their efforts in honor to the saviour and 
friend of his country. About 3 o'clock, they paraded to re- 
ceive the illustrious President of the United States of Amer- 
ica — during the discharge of a salute from the artillery, the 
horses stood extremely well. When the President passed, the 
officers saluted; and as soon as he was seated and the firing 
over, they sat down to an elegant dinner, provided by them- 
selves, on the occasion, and drank the following toasts: 

1. The President of the United States of America; may he 
return safe and in health to his favorite seat. 

2. The Vice-President of the United States of America. 

3. The Congress of the United States. 

4. Louis the XVI and the patriots of France. 

5. The memorable era of Independence. 

6. The Governor of Georgia. 

7. The fair sex of Georgia. 

8. Population and industry. 

9. The friends of freedom. 

10. Salutary laws and well supported. 

1 1 . The memory of those brave heroes who fell in defence of 
their country's independence. 

12. May we never want a heart or a hand to support the 
Federal Government. 

13. Improvements and extension to the navigation and 
commerce of Georgia. 

14. May unanimity and virtue ever be the characteristic of 

15. May merit ever be the only foundation of distinctions 
among freemen. 

They made a handsome figure vying with each other in 
adroitness and soldier-like behaviour. They spent the remain- 


Washington's Southern Tour 

der of the evening together with that conviviality, hilarity 
and harmony, due to the joyous event for which they had 
been embodied. 

The frankness of the narrator is delightful : the connotation 
of "conviviality, hilarity and harmony" leaves nothing to 
be desired. 

At half-past four o'clock that afternoon the President 
partook of an "elegant dinner" provided by popular sub- 
scription at the Court-House, which was attended by Gov- 
ernor Telfair and a large number of citizens. After din- 
ner the usual number of toasts were drunk — conspicuous 
among which was the last : to North Carolina and Rhode 
Island, the hesitant sisters. 

i. The United States. 

1. The State of Georgia, and prosperity to Augusta. {By 
the President.) 

3. The Vice-President and Congress. 

4. Louis XVI and the other Allies of the Union. 

5. The National Assembly of France. 

6. The memory of General Greene and those who fell in de- 
fence of our country. 

7. The Marquis de la Fayette. 

8. The defenders of the rights of human nature throughout 
the world. 

9. Agriculture, manufactures, and commerce. 

10. The arts and science. 

11. The arms of defence. 

12. The important 4th of July, 1776. 

13. May the old age of America flourish in the liberty of its 

14. The perfection of the Federal Constitution. 

15. Prosperity to our two new admitted Sister States. 

In the evening the President, as he says, with comical 

spelling, "went to an Assembly. . . at the Accadamy," 


Augusta and Columbia 

there being present between "60 & 70 well dressed ladies" 
(evidently the Augusta ladies had fine taste in the art of 
costume, to impress "the General"), the "largest number 
of Ladies," according to the "Augusta Chronicle," "ever 
assembled at this place." The following morning, records 
the President in his diary, "Viewed the Ruins, or rather 
small Remns. of the Works which had been erected by the 
British during the War and taken by the Americans. — Also 
the falls, which are about 2 miles above the Town ; — and the 
Town itself." Although he doesn't mention it in his diary, 
the President, as fully attested by the "Augusta Chron- 
icle," "honored the examination of the students at the 
Academy with his presence." The Richmond Academy 
is an ancient institution, with an honorable history. On 
July 31, 1783, the Legislature of Georgia passed a law 
for the establishment of a " Seminary of Learning." The 
building first used as a schoolhouse in 1785 was located 
below the bridge on Bay Street, between Elbert and Lin- 
coln Streets. "From 1780 to 1786, while Savannah [the 
Seat of State Government] was occupied by the enemy, 
Augusta was declared the temporary capital of the State; 
and there being no public buildings in Augusta suitable 
for the purpose, those of the Academy were used as the 
State House, and the State and Federal Courts were held 
there." l The records of the Academy show that, at the 

1 History of Augusta, Georgia. By C. C. Jones, Jr., and Salem Dutcher. 
(Syracuse, New York, 1890.) Under an act of 1780, a lot on Broad Street 
was reserved " for houses of public seminary and schools." A new board 
of commissioners — namely, William Glascock, George Walton, Joseph 
Pannel, Andrew Burns, and Samuel Jack — somewhat later was empowered 
to sell certain lots, the proceeds to be used to establish and maintain a 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

examination in 1789, to Edward (Edmund?) Bacon, who 
excelled in general learning, was presented a gold medal 
of the value of an eagle, with a device thereon indica- 
tive of the occasion, and that "of the girls of the Acad- 
emy" Sally Parish excelled, and to her was awarded a 
volume of Thomson's "Seasons." On the occasion of the 
President's visit, Master Edmund Bacon was chosen as the 
orator of the day. Addressing himself directly to Wash- 
ington, he delivered the following specimen of the poetic 
art of that day and locality: 

In ages past, we see a splendid train 
Of heroes shine, in panegyric's strain — 
Historic pens have varnished o'er their crime, 
And prais'd, in them, the vices of the time: 
To conquer nations; millions to devour; 
To reign in all the wantonness of power; 
To follow glory; to acquire a name; 
Their cause ambition, and their objective fame. 
'Tis ours to boast a hero great and good; 
With courage and benevolence endued. 
Superior genius you, whose breast can feel 
No other motives but your country's weal. 
Superior firmness with such virtues arm'd; 
Your people loving, by your people lov'd. 
Let not th' expressions of our love offend 
Our Saviour, father, citizen and friend. 
Deny us not the pleasure thus t' impart, 
Without disguise, the feelings of the heart. 
Thou friend of science, liberty, and laws, 
Forever active in thy country's cause; 
We are thy children — let thy fancy trace, 
In us, the congregated, rising race, 

seminary. This is the origin of the Richmond Academy. By its charter its 
trustees were ex-officiis commissioners of the town. The first master of 
the Academy was William Rogers, of Maryland. 


Augusta and Columbia 

Adopted, ere we drew the vital air, 

And snatch'd from slavery by thy watchful care. 

Heirs of that freedom, by that valor won; 

May we ne'er mar the work by thee begun! 

As we've been taught to glow at thy renown, 

So we'll transmit by bright example down. 

Each future babe shall learn to lisp thy name; 

To love thy worth and emulate thy fame. 

Whene'er the powers of infant reason dawn, 

Full in his view thy portrait shall be drawn. 

Hence on his mind these truths will be impress'd; 

That virtue can be only truly blest. 

Though power may glare in all the pomp of state; 

That virtue only can be truly great. 

Though vanity may bask in flattery's rays; 

That virtue only meets with honest praise; 

That virtue only claims our whole esteem; 

That virtue only reigns with power supreme. 

In our full hearts, what grateful raptures rise! 

When o'er past scenes, our active fancy flies: 

We hail the day, you took the glorious field, 

And made the doughty British Lion yield! 

Then, though the sceptre waited on your word, 

For calm retirement, you resign'd the sword. 

You scorn'd the glory power usurp'd imparts; 

You scorned to reign but in a people's heart. 

Again we see you bless Potomack's shore, 

Resolv'd to leave sweet Vernon's shades no more. 

Delightful seat! by our fond choice design'd, 

T' enjoy, in peace, your self approving mind. 

Again your country's call obey'd. 

With fond regret, you left your fav'rite shore, 

To feel the weight of public cares once more. 

Hail joyous day! what acclamations rung! 

Joy fill'd each eye, and rapture mov'd each tongue, 

At your instalment! — never monarch wore 

So bright, so rich a diadem before. 

No more let sparkling dross ambitions move; 


Washington? s Southern Tour 

Your diadem, is — universal love. 

But hold — this theme is painful to your ear; 

Though lightly touch'd, by gratitude sincere — 

Indulge our joys, forgive our forward zeal; 

Let your own heart imagine what we feel! 

What various transports in our bosoms glow, 

Swell the full heart, and at the eyes o'er flow!! 

Almighty God! Since virtue is thy ear; 

O hear a nation's universal prayer! 

May all the joys, this transient scene can know, 

Full on his heart, in gentle currents flow! — 

May all the joys, benevolence inspires, 

Pursue him still when he from time retires! 

May this one joy, forever crown the whole; 

And with immortal rapture fill his soul! 

May he, from heaven's sublime, eternal scenes, 

See future millions happy through his means!!! 

And let mankind this serious truth confess; 

None ere was prais'd so much, — none ever flatter'd less. 

In a contemporary print it is solemnly recorded of young 
Bacon's address to the President, that it was delivered 
"with such distinctness of articulation; such propriety of 
pauses and emphasies ; and in a manner so truly pathetic, as 
to keep that illustrious hero and a numerous collection of 
gentlemen in tears almost the whole time the little orator 
was speaking." Such a poem, even to-day, might well 
move any one to tears. Homage to the sensibility of our 
ancestors ! x 

1 At the centennial celebration of Richmond Academy on June 29, 1 893, 
the orator of the day, the Honorable William H. Fleming, said among other 
things: "In 1791 the academy was signally known by the presence of Gen- 
eral Washington. I gather from the statements of the chronicles there the 
distinguished visitor intended to depart on the twentieth of the month, but 
was prevailed upon to remain another day by two inducements that were 
offered him. One was the examination of the pupils of the Richmond Acad- 
emy; and the other was a ball to be given by Mrs. Telfair. Now which of 


Augusta and Columbia 

At the State House this day (20th) was done the follow- 
ing Address of the Executive of the State of Georgia, which 
was then presented to the President : 

My warmest congratulations on your arrival at the resi- 
dence of government in this state, are presented with a pecul- 
iar pleasure, as well as a feeling sensibility; and I am per- 
suaded that these emotions are perfectly congenial with those 
of my fellow citizens. 

After the gratification felt from your presence among them, 
they will naturally contemplate the many unavoidable incon- 
veniences arising in so arduous and extensive a tour with the 
most solicitous anxiety not less impressed, my cordial wishes 
shall accompany you through every stage on your return to 
the seat of the Government of the United States. 

Long may you remain to fill the exalted station of Chief 
Magistrate of the American republics, as the just reward of 
that patriotism which marked every act of your life, whilst 
engaged in the arduous struggles of a long and complicated 
war, gave tone to the liberties of your country, immortalized 
your name throughout the nations of the world, and created 
an unbounded confidence in your virtue, with the strongest 
attachment to your person and family, in the minds of Ameri- 
can citizens. 

Edward Telfair. 
State-house, Augusta, 
May 20, 1 79 1. 

these two inducements offered him affected most strongly his heart and 
head, the recitation and the speeches or the music and the dance, is unfor- 
tunately shrouded in mystery. But in the absence of proof to the contrary, 
I think we are excusable for claiming that it was his interest in learning, 
and his appreciation of the importance of this institution that caused the 
chief magistrate of the Union and the foremost man of the age to alter his 
high purpose and linger in our midst another day. This explanation ap- 
pears the more probable from the fact that we have no information as to 
whom, among the fair maids and matrons at the ball, the 'Father of his 
Country' led in the frolicksome reel or clasped in the palpitating waltz. 
While, on the other hand, we are reliably informed that he was present at 
the examination of the Academy Students, and, in the language of the 
Chronicle, 'expressed himself handsomely of their performance.' " 

247 ■ 

Washington's Southern Tour 

To which the President of the United States was pleased 
to make the following answer: 


Obeying the impulse of a heart felt gratitude, I express 
with particular pleasure my sense of the obligations which 
your Excellency's goodness and the kind regards of your citi- 
zens, have conferred upon me. 

I shall always retain the most pleasing remembrance of the 
polite and hospitable attentions, which I have received in my 
tour through Georgia, and during my stay at the residence of 
your government. 

The manner in which your Excellency is pleased to recog- 
nize my public services, and to regard my private felicity, 
excites my sensibility, and claims my grateful acknowledg- 

You will do justice to the sentiments which influence my 
wishes, by believing that they are sincerely preferred for your 
personal happiness, and the prosperity of the state in which 
you preside. 

That afternoon, with a "select party," the President, 
as he states in his diary, 

Dined at a private dinner with Govr. Telfair today; and 
gave him dispatches for the Spanish Govr. of East Florida, re- 
specting the Countenance given by that Governt. to the fugi- 
tive Slaves of the Union — wch. dispatches were to be for- 
warded to Mr. Seagrove, Collector of St. Mary's, who was 
requested to be the bearer of them, and instructed to make 
arrangements for the prevention of these evils and, if pos- 
sible, for the restoration of the property — especially of those 
slaves wch. had gone off since the orders of the Spanish Court, 
to discountenance this practice of recg. them. 

On Saturday morning, about six o'clock, the President 

made his departure from Augusta; and as he crossed the 

Savannah River by the bridge he received the "salute of 


Augusta and Columbia 

Major Gordon's horse and Captain Howell's artillery." 
At the entrance to the bridge His Excellency the Governor, 
and the Federal and State officers, paid their compli- 
ments and bade the President farewell. Says a writer in 
the "Augusta Chronicle": 

Much commendation is due to the officers and men of the 
two corps who were in service upon this occasion, for their at- 
tention and adroitness, and particularly to that of the horse 
which went as far as Savannah, and arrived in a short time to 
a perfection of discipline and order. 

We are happy upon the present occasion to announce to 
our readers, that during his stay here, the President gave re- 
peated demonstrations of the most entire satisfaction; and 
that all orders of men appeared anxious to pay respect to the 
person and character of this illustrious and good man. 

Washington in his diary has recorded his impression of 
the falls of the river, two miles above Augusta, and of the 
town itself: 

These falls (as they are called) are nothing more than rap- 
ids. — They are passable in their present state by boats with 
skilful hands, but may at a very small expence be improved, 
by removing a few rocks only, to streighten the passage. — 
Above them there is good boat navigation for many miles; 
by which the produce may be, & in some measure is, trans- 
ported. — At this place, i. e. the falls, the good lands begin; 

I & encrease in quality to the westward & No. ward. — All 
below them, except the Interval lands on the Rivers and Rice 
Swamps which extend from them, the whole Country is a 

i Pine barren. — The town of Augusta is well laid out with 
wide & spacious Streets. — It stands on a large area of a 
perfect plain but it is not yet thickly built tho' surprizingly so 
for the time; for in 1783 there were not more than half a 

dozen dwelling houses; now there are not less than 

containing about Souls of which about 


Washington's Southern Tour 

are blacks. — It bids fair to be a large Town being at the 
head of the present navigation, & a fine Country back of it for 
support, which is settling very fast by Tobacco planters. — 
The culture of which article is encreasing very fast, and bids 
fair to be the principal export from the State; from this part 
of it, it certainly will be so. 

Augusta, though it covers more ground than Savanna, 
does not contain as many Inhabitants the latter having by 
the late census between 14 & 1500 whites and about 800 
blacks. 1 

A final memento of Washington's visit to Augusta is the 
following set of orders which appeared in the "Augusta 
Chronicle," May 21, 1791 : 

General Order. 

The Commander in Chief is particularly gratified with the 
military appearance and discipline of the volunteer troop of 
horse, under the command of Major Gordon, as well as with 
the promptitude with which they have executed the duties 
assigned them, during the distinguished and honorable serv- 
ice in which they have been engaged, and presents his thanks 
to Major Gordon and through him to each individual in his 

Attest. J. Meriwether, Sec. 

Government House, Augusta. 
After Orders 
The escort under the command of Major Gordon is here- 
by discharged. 

By order of the commander in chief. 
Attest. J. Meriwether, Sec. 

1 In 1 79 1, as we learn from the Memorial History of Augusta, Georgia, 
Augusta is said to have contained two hundred and fifty houses and a popu- 
lation of eleven hundred. The public buildings consisted of a church, a 
court-house, and an academy wherein between eighty and ninety pupils 
were instructed, a stone jail, a government house for the accommodation of 
the Governor and the State officials, and three warehouses capable of stor- 





Augusta and Columbia 

The citizens of Columbia were fully apprized of the 
coming of Washington; and on Monday, 18th, a com- 
mittee from Columbia consisting of four prominent 
citizens — Colonel Taylor, Colonel Wade Hampton, and 
Mr. Lythgoe, all of Columbia, and Mr. Jameson, of 
Granby, 1 set out from Columbia for Augusta, for the pur- 
pose of accompanying the President to Columbia. They 
arrived in time to escort the President out of Augusta at 
six o'clock on Saturday, 21st. The President records for 
the remainder of that day: "Dined at a house 2 about 20 

ing ten thousand hogsheads of tobacco. In that year over six thousand 
hogsheads of tobacco were there inspected. 

1 Colonel Thomas Taylor, who is presumably referred to here, was prob- 
ably born in Virginia. He and his brother James were among the first set- 
tlers on the east side of the Congaree River; and were the most influential 
men of the community. At the opening of the Revolution, Captain James 
Taylor raised a company at Camden, and Thomas Taylor was commis- 
sioned Colonel of the regiment. Both he and his brother were captured 
at Fishing Creek, but succeeded in effecting their escape while on the 
march to Camden under guard of a detachment of Tarleton's dragoons. 
(Consult Johnson's Traditions for many incidents connected with Colonel 
Taylor's army experiences.) 

Wade Hampton was born in South Carolina in 1754; received a good 
schooling and devoted himself to agriculture; was active in pre-Revolu- 
tionary movements; served under Marion and Sumter; was elected to the 
Fourth Congress (March 4, 1795, to March 3, 1797); reelected to the 
Eighth Congress (March 4, 1803, to March 3, 1805); presidential elector 
on the Jefferson and Burr ticket in 1801; Colonel in the United States 
Army in 1808; was appointed brigadier-general in February, 1809, and 
major-general March 2, 1813; served in the War of 1812 and resigned 
April 6, 1 8 14; was reputed the wealthiest planter in the United States 
and the owner of three thousand slaves in 1830; died in Columbia, South 
Carolina, February 4, 1835. 

Of Mr. Lythgoe, nothing is known save that he was a prominent citi- 
zen of Columbia. 

Mr. Jameson was probably the Mayor of Granby. 

2 In his History of Edgefield County, John A. Chapman says the house 
here mentioned by Washington was the "Pine House," or "Piney Woods 
House." " If I am not mistaken," he says, " it has been in the ownership of 
the Bettis family ever since a period anterior to the Revolutionary War." 


TVashingto?i > s Southern Tour 

miles from Augusta and lodged at one Odem, about 20 

miles farther." Says a contemporary print: 

On the 22d general Winn, 1 and several other respectable 
gentlemen, rode out to meet him, and about sun set, arrived 
at Granby, proceeding immediately to the ferry on the Con- 
garee river, leading from Granby, to Columbia; the banks of 
the river at that place were lined with the neighbouring in- 
habitants, who anxiously waited for the president's arrival. 
He was attended from the ferry by a number of gentlemen, 
on horseback, and when advanced near to the state house, the 
light horse under command of captain Kershaw, completely 
accoutred, formed on the left, near the edge of the woods, and 
saluted him with much respect; he was then conducted to a 
house comodiously prepared for his reception, where a few 
gentlemen, and the officers of the troop were introduced. 

Washington records that he passed the first falls in the 
Congaree, just above the village of Granby, in a "flat 
bottomed boat at a Rope ferry"; and that he travelled 
forty-eight miles that day, breakfasting at a point twenty- 
one miles from Augusta. "The whole road from Augusta to 

1 Richard Winn was born in Eastern Virginia about 1750; received a lim- 
ited schooling; removed to Georgia; entered the Continental service early 
in the Revolutionary War, and in 1775 was a lieutenant of South Carolina 
rangers, participating in the battle on Sullivan's Island. He was then placed 
in command of Fort Mcintosh, Georgia, promoted to the rank of colonel, 
and later commanded the militia in Fairfield District, South Carolina; was 
wounded at the battle of Hanging Rock; was actively engaged during the 
remainder of the war. After the war he succeeded General William Hen- 
derson in the command of the Fairfield militia, with the rank first of brig- 
adier-general, and then major-general, of militia. His home was on the hill 
where now stands the residence of ex-Senator Thomas H. Ketchin, opposite 
the hill on which is Mount Zion Academy, established by the Mount " Sion" 
Society in 1777, to which in 1785 General Winn gave one hundred acres of 
land. He was a member of the General Assembly which met at Jackson- 
borough, January 18, 1782; was elected to Congress, serving March 4, 
1793, to March 3, 1797, twice alternating with General Thomas Sumter; 
was reelected to Congress, serving from March 4, 1801, to March 3, 18 13. 
In 1 8 13 he removed to the eastern part of the country, dying there in the 
same year. 


Augusta and Columbia 

Columbia," he adds, "is a pine barren of the worst sort, 
being hilly as well as poor. This circumstance added to the 
distance, length of the stages, want of water and heat of 
the day, foundered one of my horses very badly." 

Ever since 1718, when a trading-post called Fort Con- 
garees had been established on the west bank of the river, 
the site of Columbia had been more or less frequented; and 
throughout the century down to the Revolution the early 
records contain references to the Congarees, the Fort at 
the Falls, Fort Granby, and Friday's Ferry. Fort Granby, 
a dwelling fortified by the British, was one of a chain 
of military posts from Camden to Charleston. This post 
was captured by Colonel Lee, of the famous partisan "Le- 
gion," in May, 1781. In time, the many natural advan- 
tages of the site, says August Kohn, pointed to the in- 
evitable development here of a great inland centre. By 
an act ratified March 22, 1786, it was voted by the South 
Carolina Assembly to remove the seat of government from 
Charleston to a site at Friday's Ferry. It is interesting to 
recall that the two names considered for the new capital 
were Washington and Columbia — the latter winning by 
a vote of eleven to seven. In four years a village had 
sprung up there — the wooden houses, painted gray or 
yellow according to the taste of the inhabitants, giving, as 
Michaux remarks (1807), a "very agreeable appearance." 
The State House — "surrounded with lofty forests which 
afford a grateful shade and give the scenery a rural and 
charming cast " — stood on an eminence directly in the 
centre of the township ; and although not fully completed 


Washington's Southern Tour 

in 1790, accommodated the Constitutional Convention 
of that year. 1 

On Monday, 23d, the President held a huge reception 
at noon — to accommodate the very large number of gen- 
tlemen of Columbia, Granby, Winnsborough, Camden, 
Statesburgh, Bellville, Orangeburgh, and their vicinity who 
had assembled to pay him their respects. After this fa- 
tiguing ceremony was over, the President was conducted 
to the Assembly Room of the Representatives in the State 
House, where were assembled "sixty ladies who upon his 
entering the room arose and made an elegant appearance, 
to whom he was individually introduced. The ladies were 
then led by the gentlemen (there being present 153) to the 
Senate Room, where they sat down together in a well- 
conceived arrangement to a farmer's dinner, where plenty 
abounded, and from the satisfaction visibly expressed on 
each countenance it is but just to conclude, that concord 
and true hilarity presided." 

Memorable among the toasts were: one to the National 
Assembly, expressing sympathy for the French Revolu- 
tion on the part of South Carolinians, so many of whom 
emigrated from France; one to the memory of Justice 
Henry Pendleton, 2 through whose vigorous efforts the 

1 The commissioners, named in the act ratified March 22, 1786, who were 
authorized to "lay off six hundred and fifty acres of land near Friday's 
Ferry, on the Congaree River, on the plain of the hill whereon James and 
Thomas Taylor resided," were : Commodore Alexander Gillon, Judge Henry 
Pendleton, General Richard Winn, Colonel Richard Hampton, and Colo- 
nel Thomas Taylor. 

2 Henry Pendleton was born in Virginia. He was elected Judge of the 
Courts of Law of South Carolina, April 17, 1776. He was captured in the 
Revolution by a party of British, and afterwards exchanged, and became 


L'ke St \te House ai coli mbia 





Augusta and Columbia 

capital of South Carolina had been removed from Charles- 
ton to Columbia; one to Miss Assumption, who had been 
equally courted and flouted; and — most extraordinary 
and comical of all — one likening Washington to a gor- 
geous flower! To what a pitch of fatuous adulation our 
ancestors did go ! There was never a time when Washing- 
ton was more truly admired than he is to-day. And surely 
that is because we understand him better, and see in him a 
more human figure. A full list of the toasts given after the 
dinner follows: 

i. The United States. 

2. (By the President.) The State of South-Carolina. 

3. The National Assembly of France — a happy termina- 
tion to their manly revolution. 

4. The federal legislature — may their virtues and abilities 
be as much admired abroad, as they are respected at 

5. The 23d of May, 1788. 

6. A speedy establishment of the central federal city. 

7. May our mild laws, and the happy administration of 
them, render America an asylum for the oppressed. 

8. The late American army — may their meritorious con- 
duct serve as an example for future armies. 

9. The memory of General Greene, and all who with equal 
virtue and alacrity espoused our glorious cause. 

10. The memory of Justice Pendleton — may the independ- 
ent firmness of his principles ever be endearing to the 
friends of Columbia. 

an aide of General Nathanael Greene. "He bore the orders of his gallant 
chief in the battle of Eutaw." With Justices Burke and Grimke, he was 
appointed Commissioner to form a complete and accurate digest of the 
State laws; was a member of the Convention of the People of South Caro- 
lina which assembled at the Custom House, Charleston, in May, 1788. He 
lived in Greenville District; and the house he occupied was situated on or 
near Golden Grove Creek. He died in 1788. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

ii. Sufficient means and speedy measures for opening the 
inland navigation of America. 

12. The farmers, manufacturers and merchants of America 
— may their well directed exertions reward their in- 

13. America's best infant — Miss Assumption and her 

14. Increase to our exports, and decrease to our imports. 

15. An increase of well established seminaries of learning. 

After the President had retired, a toast to him — enthu- 
siastically drunk — was couched in this strange, botanical 

The magnificent Aloe of America} 
Our ancestors beyond peradventure of a doubt knew how 
to " say it with flowers " ! 

At eight o'clock that evening, the President returned to 
the Assembly Room, where a grand ball was held which 

1 I am indebted to Mr. Paul C. Standley, Assistant Curator, Division of 
Plants, Smithsonian Institution, for the following statement in answer to 
my inquiry: 

"The title of 'The Magnificent Aloe of America' applied to George 
Washington doubtless has reference to the well-known century plant (of 
the genus Agave) which is often referred to in the earlier botanical works as 
American Aloe, although the plant has no very close relationship with the 
Old-World plant to which that name properly belongs. The century plant 
consists of a large cluster of heavy dagger-shaped leaves whose margins are 
furnished with short hocked spines. From the centre of the mass of leaves 
rises a flower stalk, sometimes twenty feet high or more, which branches 
above like a candelabrum and bears masses of yellow flowers. There is a 
popular belief that this plant blooms only after having attained the age of 
one hundred years — hence the common name. It is scarcely necessary to 
state that this belief is incorrect, for in the wild state the plants produce 
their flowers at a much earlier age. Century plants are of imposing appear- 
ance and are a conspicuous feature of the landscape where they occur." 

It was presumably the popular view of the century plant as the hand- 
somest and most majestic in appearance of American plants which 
prompted the singular toast to George Washington. 


Augusta and Columbia 

lasted until eleven o'clock. "We cannot better attribute 
the regret which arose at the separation of this company," 
says a contemporary print, "than the happiness conferred 
by the presence of the ladies at dinner, the gentlemen 
vying with each other to repay by every agreeable atten- 
tion and respect the ladies acceptance of their invitation." 
Thus was effected, in a most charming way, a neat bal- 
ancing of social accounts. 

It was not in accordance with the President's itinerary 
to remain in Columbia later than the 23d; but, as 
he says in his diary for the 24th, "the condition of 
my foundered horse obliged me to remain at this place, 
contrary to my intentions, this day also." As he walked 
through this "wilderness of pines" — down State Street, 
considerably "overrun with bushes," with a pleasing 
glimpse here and there of a cultivated spot of a few acres 
— and made inquiries of the "Gentlemen of the Town" 
who had accompanied him, he came to certain conclusions 
which he thus set down in his diary for that day: 

Columbia is laid out upon a large scale; but, in my opinion, 
had better been placed on the River below the falls. — It is 
now an uncleared wood, with very few houses in it, and those 
all wooden ones — The State House (which is also of wood) 
is a large and commodious building, but unfinished — The 
Town is on dry, but cannot be called high ground, and though 
surrounded by Piney & sandy land is, itself, good — The 
State House is near two miles from the River, at the con- 
fluence of the Broad River & Saluda. — From Granby the 
River is navigable for Craft which will, when the River is a 
little swelled, carry 3000 bushels of grain — when at its usual 
height less, and always some. The River from hence to the 
Wateree below which it takes the name of the Santee is very 


JVashingtoti's Southern Tour 

crooked; l it being, according to the computed distance near 
400 miles — Columbia from Charleston is 130 miles. 2 

This day, the President dined "in private" with a few 
gentlemen — probably at the home of Commodore Alex- 
ander Gillon. 3 At the request of the gentlemen present, 
Commodore Gillon delivered the following address to the 
President : 


The citizens of Columbia, Granby, and the vicinity, offer 
their professions of respect and affection for your attentive 

Could the expression of our sentiments add lustre to the 

1 At Buck's Head Neck, near Fort Motte, just above the juncture of the 
Congaree and Wateree (which form the Santee), the Congaree makes a 
sweep of eight miles and approaches itself to within the distance of a 
quarter of a mile. (B. J. L.) 

2 The town records of Columbia were burned along with the city during 
Sherman's occupation. They probably contained allusions to Washing- 
ton's visit, and in particular some entry regarding the house engaged for 
Washington's entertainment. I have been unable to ascertain where Wash- 
ington lodged during his sojourn in Columbia. It is not unlikely that he 
had his headquarters at Rives's Tavern. 

3 Alexander Gillon, born in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1741, lived for a 
time in England. In 1765 he emigrated to Charles Town; and there, July 6, 
1766, was married to Mary Splatt, widow of William Cripps. In addition 
to other real estate, he owned a tract of 5500 acres on the Congaree River 
known as "Gillon's Retreat." He took part in various naval enterprises in 
the early years of the Revolution, notably the capture of two British vessels 
blocking the harbor of Charles Town in 1778. He was appointed Commo- 
dore in the South Carolina navy early in 1778. In the Indien, leased from 
the Chevalier Luxembourg, and renamed the South Carolina, he made a 
number of valuable prizes in 1781. The following year he commanded the 
fleet of fifty-nine vessels which captured the Bahama Islands. He served 
for several terms as member of the House of Representatives of South Car- 
olina; also was chosen Lieutenant-Governor in 1783, but declined to serve. 
He was elected to Congress in 1784; also served in Congress in 1793-94. 
He was a member of the South Carolina Constitutional Convention. He 
was married, a second time, February 10, 1789, to Ann, daughter of Rev. 
Dr. Purcell, of St. Michael's Parish, Charleston. He died at "Gillon's Re- 
treat" on the Congaree, October 6, 1794. 





Augusta and Columbia 

justly merited eulogy of an admiring world we would recount 
with pleasing recollection the eventful scenes of glory in 
which you have borne so conspicuous a part; but as no idea of 
gratitude or praise can transcend your merit, so has no term 
of approbation been omitted to express it; it is then but left 
for us to declare, that our hearts cheerfully adopt those plau- 
dits of praise which have resounded from every quarter of 
our grateful continent. 

And since the duties of your important station call you 
from us, go, America's best friend, leaving us to implore our 
eternal guardian to bestow on you every felicity he admits on 
earth, and, when it shall please him to summon you from us, 
that he enfold you, as that which in perfection nearest ap- 
proached those selected by him, to waft you to his celestial 

(Signed) by request, 


The President's reply is the briefest on record for the 
trip — although doubtless adequate to the occasion: 


I am much obliged by your professions of respect and affec- 
tion, and I am truly grateful for your kind regard and good 

Replying to them with sincere acknowledgment, I desire to 
assure you, that I shall always remember with pleasure your 
polite attentions. 

G. Washington. 



Camden, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina 
N the morning of the 25th, accompanied by the 

troop of Light Horse under Captain Kershaw, 
Washington made his customary early start (four o'clock) 
for an unusually tedious day's journey — as the foundered 
horse had to be led slowly along. The following observa- 
tions Washington entered in his diary: 

Breakfasted at an indifferent house 22 miles from the 
town, 1 (the first we came to) and reached Camden about two 
o'clock, 14 miles further The Road from Colum- 
bia to Camden, excepting a mile or two at each place, goes 
over the most miserable pine barren I ever saw, being quite 
a white sand, & very hilly. — On the Wateree within a mile 
& half of which the town stands the lands are very good, — 
they Culture Corn, Tobacco & Indigo. — Vessels carrying 
50 or 60 Hhds. of Tobo. come up to the Ferry at this place at 
which there is a Tobacco Warehouse. 2 

At the Wateree, which was reached about noon, there 
was an exceptionally large concourse of people including 
almost the entire population of Camden. Loud and long 
were the cheers of the multitude ; and the throng quickly 
joined Washington's train as it moved on into Camden. A 

1 Columbia. 

2 In his Journal (May 6, 1791) William Loughton Smith describes Cam- 
den as " a pretty town of about seventy houses and some very good dwell- 
ings." Writing to his wife from Camden (May 10, 1790) James Iredell says: 
"This really is a very pretty town — a fine, high, healthy situation — and 
many very handsome houses in it." 


Camden and Charlotte 

halt was made at the public square of the town, the time 
being about two o'clock; and Colonel Joseph Kershaw, 1 
the Intendant of the town, speaking in behalf of the local 
committee, delivered the following address, which is con- 
spicuous for its high tribute to Baron de Kalb: 

Sir: Impressed with every sentiment of friendship, esteem 
and gratitude which can actuate the human heart, and amid 
the congratulations and voluntary homage of freemen and 
fellow-citizens that accompany your progress in the Southern 
States, the citizens of Camden and its vicinity, in whose 
country the ravages and distresses of war were once as se- 
verely and painfully felt, as the blessings of peace and good 
government are now gratefully cherished, yielding to the uni- 
versal sentiment, but more to the impulse of our own hearts, 
beg leave to express the satisfaction and happiness we feel, at 
seeing among us our great deliverer — the venerated chief, 
who heretofore under the standard of liberty, defended the 
invaded rights of America, and led her troops with success 
through all the doubtful changes of a perilous war; now our 
first civil magistrate, under whose administration we forget 
our dangers and perilous past, and rest in the perfect enjoy- 
ment of those invaluable rights secured to us by his labours. 

1 Joseph Kershaw, first heard of in South Carolina as clerk in the store of 
James Laurens & Co., Charleston (1756); removed to Pine Tree Hill 
(Camden) about 1758, as agent of the commercial firm of Ancrum, Lance, 
and Loocock. Within a few years he was engaged in many industries, prin- 
cipally flour-milling; was leading man in the district at the outbreak of the 
Revolution. He was a delegate to the Congress of the Province of South 
Carolina, which assembled at Charleston, January 11, 1775; elected by the 
Congress in June, 1775, a member of the Committee of Continental Associa- 
tion; member of the first Legislative Council, 1776; served in the Revolu- 
tion with the rank of colonel, commanding the regiment of militia from 
Camden District; built powder magazine for the State in 1777 at the cost of 
£9000; captured at Camden by the British in 1780, loaded with irons, and 
later banished to British Honduras. He removed to Bermuda, and remained 
there in exile for fifteen months, until exchanged near the end of the war. 
He was married about 1763 to Sarah Mathis, Quakeress. He was regarded 
as the " Father of Camden " and a leading patriot of his day. Died Decem- 
ber 28, 1791. 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

We congratulate you, Sir, on your return thus far; and we 
hail your arrival in this town with a welcome, though less 
splendid, yet not less sincere, than what you have anywhere 

And now, Sir, permit us to bring to your recollection that 
noble foreigner, the Baron deKalb, whose dust, with that of 
many other brave officers, is entombed on the plains of Cam- 
den; to him we owe this grateful mention, who, despising ease 
and inaction, when the liberties of his fellow-creatures (how- 
ever distant) were threatened, entered the lists in our late 
contest, and fell bravely fighting for the rights of mankind. 
May Almighty God long preserve a life so beloved, and 
make the future as happy as the past has been illustrious; and 
at the close of a life rendered thus illustrious, may you greet 
on the happy shores of blissful immortality, the kindred spir- 
its of those heroes and patriots, who have in all past ages been 
distinguished as the guardians of liberty and the fathers of 
their country. 

Signed by order of the inhabitants of Camden and its 

Joseph Kershaw 
John Chesnut 1 
William Lang 2 
Isaac DuBose 3 
Adam F. Brisbane 4 
James Kershaw 5 
Joseph Brevard 6 
Isaac Alexander 7 
Samuel Boykin 8 
D. Starke. 9 

1 John Chesnut, son of James Chesnut, was born in the Shenandoah 
Valley, Virginia, June i8, 1743. His father and uncle, James and Benja- 
min, originally came from Ireland, settling in Pennsylvania in 1688. After 
his father's death, John moved south with his mother and family, finally 
settling at Knight's Mill near Camden, South Carolina, then called Pine 
Tree. He began as clerk in the grocery store of Joseph Kershaw, and before 
he was twenty-one he became a member of the firm. In 1770 he was 
married to Sarah Cantey, born in the Wateree, February 15, 1753. Entered 
service in the Revolution as Paymaster with the rank of Captain, being 


Camden and Charlotte 

And it is noteworthy that, in his reply, Washington pays 

attached to the Third Regiment. Served in South Carolina and Georgia, 
being present in various engagements. When Charleston was evacuated, 
he was taken prisoner and paroled. By order of Lord Rawdon, he was im- 
prisoned and chained to the floor, for refusing to fight his own countrymen. 
In 1775 he was sent to the First Provincial Congress of South Carolina. 
In 1788 he was a member of the convention of the people to frame the 
constitution. He was one of the first Trustees of the South Carolina College, 
founded in 1802. He served also as member of the State House and Senate. 
He died in April, 181 8. 

He was described by Miss Harriet Pinckney as "one of the handsomest 
men of his day." 

2 William Lang, born near Wakefield, in Yorkshire, England, February 
16, 1746; emigrated to the colony of South Carolina in 1770, settling at 
Camden; became one of the prominent citizens of the town. In 1775 he 
was married to Sally Wyley. He was a supporter of the American cause 
during the Revolution; a member of the commission for extending the 
boundaries of Camden in 1798. He died in 181 5. 

3 Isaac Dubose was the son of John Dubose, of an old Huguenot family, 
who had settled, about the middle of the eighteenth century, on Lynches 
River, in the Old Cheraws; served with distinction in the Revolution as 
lieutenant in the Second Regiment of Foot, organized in 1775; removed 
from Chesterfield County to Camden, shortly after the Revolution; was 
held in high esteem by the people; a member of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion (1790), Intendant of Camden (1792), and member of the Legislature 
in 1796, 1800, and 1806. He was twice married: to a Serree (or a Dutarque), 
and second, in 1797, to Catherine Dubose, of Camden. His daughter, 
Mary, was thrice married, her second husband being Richard Lloyd Cham- 
pion, son of Richard Champion. He died in 1816. 

4 Adam Fowler Brisbane was born in Charleston in 1754; was married to 
Mary Camber, of Georgia, at the age of twenty-one; removed to Camden 
as early as 1780; member of the Legislature from the Camden District in 
1780; member of the Constitutional Convention of South Carolina in 1790; 
first President of the Camden Orphan Society, 1787; and appointed one of 
the first Judges of the County Court of Kershaw in 1791. His residence, 
furnished, was placed at the disposal of Washington on his visit to Camden 
in 1791. He died in 1797. 

6 James Kershaw, son of Joseph and Sarah (Mathis) Kershaw, was born 
in 1764; educated in England; was twice married: first (1798) to Sarah Eng- 
lish, second (1 813) to Mrs. Lydia Ann Vaughan; leader in the social life of 
Camden, as evidenced by his diary. 

6 Joseph Brevard was born in Iredell County, North Carolina, July 19, 
1766; entered the Revolutionary service as a mere boy. In 1782, at the age 
of sixteen, he was commissioned as lieutenant in the North Carolina line, 
filling this position until the end of the war; settled in Camden immediately 


tVashingtorfs Southern Tour 

due heed to the popular feeling — which was his own — 
regarding that martyr of the Revolution, DeKalb: 

Gentlemen: The acknowledgments, which your respect- 
ful and affectionate address demand, I offer to you with un- 
feigned sincerity. I receive your congratulations with pleas- 
ure, and estimating your welcome of me to Camden by a 
conviction of its cordiality, I render those thanks to your 

after the Revolution; elected sheriff of Camden District in 1789; appointed 
Commissioner in Equity for Northern District of South Carolina, October 
14, 1791. He was married to Rebecca, daughter of Colonel Eli Kershaw, 
March 17, 1793. He became distinguished as a lawyer. In December, 1 801, 
he was elected one of the Judges of the highest State Court; wrote three vol- 
umes of Law Reports, also Digest of Statute Law to 1814; resigned judgeship 
in December, 1815; elected to Congress in 181 8, and served one term. He 
died at Camden, October 11, 1821. 

7 Isaac Alexander, son of Abraham Alexander of Charlotte, North Caro- 
lina, who presided over the Mecklenburg Convention of 1775; graduated 
from Princeton College in 1772, the classmate of James Madison and Aaron 
Burr; practised medicine in Charlotte and served for one year as first presi- 
dent of Queen's Museum; removed to Camden, about 1784, where for 
nearly thirty years he was a leading physician and citizen; served as a sur- 
geon in the American army during the Revolution; and attended Baron De 
Kalb in his mortal illness; Representative in the South Carolina Legisla- 
ture in 1786, was Intendant of Camden in 1794, and one of the first Trus- 
tees of the South Carolina College. He was married: first, to Margaret, 
daughter of Dr. William Brisbane, of Charleston; second, to Sarah, sister of 
Phineas Thornton. He died in 1812. 

8 Samuel Boykin, son of William Boykin and his wife, nee Bryant. Tall 
and massive, he acted as a leader in the early "Regulation" activities in 
South Carolina; served as a delegate to the Provincial Congress of South 
Carolina in 1775, and was elected a member of the Committee of Continen- 
tal Association from Saxe Gotha. At the defence of Charleston in midsum- 
mer, 1775, he was captain of a company of Catawba Indians in the success- 
ful defence of Sullivan's Island. He was active as a partisan throughout 
the Revolution under Taylor and Sumter. He was married to Elizabeth 
Brown, by whom he had four children. He was severely injured by some 
ruffian wagoners, whom he, with the aid of some friends, soon after se- 
verely chastised, and died from the effects of these injuries in December, 

I79 1 - 

9 Douglas Starke was a planter by profession; served in the Revolution; 
was present at the fall of Charleston in 1780; was a Justice of the Peace at 
Camden in 1787; was a representative citizen of Camden. 


Camden and Charlotte 

polite and hospitable attentions to which they are so justly 

Your grateful remembrance of that excellent friend and 
gallant officer, the Baron de Kalb, does honor to the goodness 
of your hearts; with your regrets I mingle mine for his loss, 
and to your praise I join the tribute of my esteem for his 

May you largely participate the national advantages, and 
may your past sufferings and dangers, endured and braved in 
the cause of freedom, be long contrasted with your future 
safety and happiness. 

G. Washington. 

The President was now conducted by the reception 
committee to the house "especially prepared for him," 
which, if tradition be correct, was the residence of Mrs. 
Brisbane. 1 The President dined late "with a number of 
Ladies & Gentlemen at a public dinner," he says; which 
took place, it is believed, at the home of Colonel John 
Chesnut. 2 In the "Chesnut Family Chronicle," written 
by Sally Chesnut at the dictation of her father, James 
Chesnut, appears the statement: "In 1791 Washington 
in making his tour through the South stopped in Camden, 
and was the guest of Col. John Chesnut. After returning 
home he sent him a plow accompanied by the following 
letter . . ." Clearly the public dinner followed by a recep- 
tion and ball, was held at the house of Col. John Chesnut. 
Follows the letter above mentioned : 

1 On this site, near the southeast corner of Fair and York Streets, now 
stands the Brasington house. 

2 This house, a large frame building, is still standing on the northwest 
corner of King and Fair Streets. It is identified on the testimony of Miss 
Mary Kershaw, who told her nephew, Judge Kershaw, that she had once 
attended a reception to General Washington in that house. 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

Mount Vernon June 26 1791 

In conformity to my promise, when I saw you in Camden, 
I have selected one of my drill plows, which will be sent to 
Norfolk, whence it will be forwarded to Charleston, directed 
to you, and addressed to the care of General Pinckney. 

The original intention of the drill plough, on the principle 
of that which is sent to you, was to plant the grain or seed in 
rows, at equal distances — the distance to be determined by 
the space at which the holes were made from each other — 
their number for corn was only four. But in sowing gran 
and some other kinds of grain in drills the holes were in- 
creased to the number now in the barrel. 

The application of this plough to the planting of indigo 
will, in my opinion, be productive of dispatch, regularity, 
and an abridgment of labour. 

The continuity in which the indigo seed is sown, in the 
same row, will require an additional number of holes — the 
proportioning of which, and their size, in order that the seed 
may issue in proper and equal quantity, may occasion some 
waste at first — but the loss of seed in determining them will 
be no object, compared with the advantages, when the just 
size and number of the holes are ascertained. 

You will perceive that the plough which is sent, is drawn 
by a swingle tree — but they may likewise be made with 
shafts, the barrels may be extended to six feet, or to such 
length as to answer for any number of rows, that may be 
thought necessary, compartitioned as to prevent an accumu- 
lation of the seed at either end. You will have occasion to 
prefix a ploughshare to each row of holes, and proportion 
your force of horses or oxen to the draft. 

The footstock to which the truck wheel is fixed, and which 
may be raised or depressed, is intended to regulate the depth 
of the plough's insertion into the ground. 

The band which crosses the barrel in a certain direction, 
was placed, when the grain was to be deposited at equal 
distances, to prevent its emission at more holes than one — 
in sowing the indigo seed it will not be wanted. 

The harrow will be proportioned to the plough or ploughs, 



After a painting by Walter Robertson 



B»»v?EMITY of (iLlkUtS 

Camden and Charlotte 

and so constructed as effectually to cover the seed, without 
adding more than is unavoidable to the weight. 

I hope you will sufficiently comprehend the principles of 
this plough to render its adoption highly useful to the plant- 
ing interest of South Carolina. 

Should the experiment so eventuate, my agency therein 
will be most agreeably rewarded. 
I am sir 

Your most obedient servant 

G Washington — 

In a contemporary print it is stated that the Chief Magis- 
trate sought an introduction to each of the ladies, and that 
"every one took delight in contemplating this dignified 
personage, whose presence inspired and animated every 
social and convivial breast." 1 There seems some reason 
to believe that the "breasts" were more than usually 
"convivial" — as the ladies withdrew after the third 
toast, and the President withdrew about midnight. An 
unusually large number of toasts — seventeen in all — 
were drunk, as below; and as an evidence of how little 
pride the people had yet developed in the Confederation, 
it is to be noted that the words United States have not 
yet attained to the dignity of capitals when printed in the 
contemporary newspapers. Once again lively gratitude is 
expressed to the "brave Baron de Kalb"; and here, as 
elsewhere throughout the Southern States, the name of 
Nathanael Greene is seen to be held in grateful remem- 
brance for his splendid military achievements. 

Follow the toasts: 

i. The united states of America. May they rival in the 

1 Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, June 6, 1791. 

Washington? 's Southern Tour 

arts and sciences, as they have already equalled in arms 
and excelled in the mild arts of peace and government, 
the polished and enlightened nations of Europe. 
1. The Congress. May wisdom inspire, virtue direct, and 
unanimity inform, their councils. 

3. (By the President.) The Governor and state of South 

4. Louis the 16th and the French Nation, the noble and 
generous allies of America. May a true spirit of freedom, 
tempered with moderation and generous politeness, pre- 
vail in the constitutional reform. 

5. The Vice-President of the united states. May he long 
bless his country with the ability and integrity that has 
hitherto characterized him. 

6. The memory of General Greene. May his name inspire 
us with gratitude so long as his military achievements 
excite our applause. 

7. The memory of the brave Baron deKalb. May every 
generous American mix the tributary tear of grateful re- 
membrance with the dust that covers over his grave. 

8. General Lincoln. May a generous country never for- 
get his steady virtue, patriotism and services. 

9. The memory of the brave martyrs in the cause of Ameri- 
can liberty. May their names ever be grateful to our 
memories; and may their fates animate posterity with 
the love of freedom and their country. 

10. The brave seamen of America, who fought and died in 
the glorious cause. 

11. The agricultural and commercial interests of the united 
states. May they advance hand in hand, and recipro- 
cally support each other. 

12. The manufactories of the united states. May they rap- 
idly improve; and may fashion favor their growth. 

13. The fair of America. May wisdom with modesty, 
beauty with prudence, and every virtuous attraction, 
always distinguish them: 

14. True religion, unmixed with hypocricy and intoleration; 
but distinguished for charity and benevolence. 


Camden and Charlotte 

15. (By the President.) The town of Camden, and prosper- 
ity to it. 

(And, after the President retired:) 

16. The President of the united states. 

17. Lady Washington. 

The following morning (26th), the President rode on 
horseback to the tomb of DeKalb, 1 where he reverently 
paused for a few moments in respect for the fallen hero 
(to-day he would have laid a wreath upon the grave) ; and 
afterwards made a tour of inspection of the works and 
redoubts erected by the British. 2 He then resumed his 
journey, his destination being Charlotte in North Caro- 
lina. At the site of the battle of Gum Swamp, he "very 
affectionately " bade adieu to his Camden friends who had 
attended him thus far upon his journey. In response to 
their urgent invitation to remain longer in their midst, he 
explained that he had already been several days longer on 
his tour than he had intended and that public business de- 
manded his immediate return. His diary for this day is as 
follows : 

After viewing the british works about Camden I set out 
for Charlotte — on my way — two miles from Town — I ex- 
amined the ground on wen. Genl. Greene & Lord Rawdown 
had their action. 3 — The ground had but just been taken by 
the former — was well chosen — but he not well established 
in it before he was attacked; which by capturing a Videt was, 
in some measure by surprise — Six miles further on I came to 
the ground where Genl. Gates & Lord Cornwallis had their 

1 Now the old Presbyterian Cemetery. 

2 Compare Historic Camden, by Kirkland and Kennedy (Columbia, 1905), 
footnote, pp. 312-13. 

3 On Hobkirk's Hill, April 25, 1781. 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

Engagement wch. terminated so unfavourably for the for- 
mer. 1 — As this was a night meeting of both Armies on their 
March & altogether unexpected each formed on the ground 
they met without any advantage in it on either side it 
being level & open. — Had Genl. Gates been \ a mile fur- 
ther advanced, an impenetrable Swamp would have pre- 
vented the attack which was made on him by the British 
Army, and afforded him time to have formed his own plans; 
but having no information of Lord Cornwallis's designs, and 
perhaps not being apprised of this advantage it was not 
seized by him. 

Camden is a small place with appearances of some new 
buildings. — It was much injured by the British whilst in 
their possession. 2 

After halting at one Sutton's 14 m. from Camden I lodged 
at James Ingrams 12 miles father. 

A memorable incident is associated with Washington's 
journey through South Carolina. At Camden was living 
that Richard Champion, Englishman, who in the early 
days of the Revolution had kept Robert Morris, his busi- 
ness correspondent, informed of the actions of the British 
Government. Champion was active in local English 
politics, and nominated Burke for Parliament at the fa- 
mous election in 1774. In the spring of 1782, Champion 
was appointed by Burke, then paymaster-general, as his 
deputy, a post which he held until the collapse of the Min- 
istry in 1784. Champion started his famous china factory 

1 On the north side of Sanders's Creek, August 16, 1780. The two gener- 
als were approaching each other in the night, along a road filled with deep 
sand; and neither of them had any knowledge of the fact, until their ad- 
vanced guards came in contact. The battle occurred early in the morning. 
(B. J. L.) 

2 Lord Rawdon, the British commander there, alarmed for the safety of 
his forts in the lower country, set fire to Camden on the 10th of May, 1781, 
and retreated down the Santee. (B. J. L.) 


Camden and Charlotte 

at Bristol in the year of the passage of the Stamp Act. 
The china factory was not a financial success, and was 
abandoned by Champion during the Revolution. In 1784, 
Champion removed to Camden, South Carolina, where he 
resided with his brother-in-law, Caleb Lloyd, who had 
been stamp distributor. 

During Washington's tour through South Carolina, 
Champion wrote the following letter, hitherto unpublished, 
which accompanied a letter, book, and parcel all intended 
for Washington : 

M r Champion presents his Compliments to Major Jackson, 
and requests the favour of him to present the Letter, Book 
and parcel which accompanies this, to the President. M r 
Champion has taken the Liberty to intreat the Honour of the 
President's acceptance of a Book, and a Manuscript enclosed. 
And he will trespass on the Indulgence of Major Jackson to 
beg him to procure the President's acceptance of the Parcel. 
It contains two Reliefs in a very fine Porcelain, exquisitely 
wrought round with flowers. The one of D r Franklin, the 
other taken from a Relief, (a good likeness, as he was in- 
formed of the President when young,) which M r Champion di- 
rected a Statuary to make. But in the likeness M r Champion 
finds himself disappointed. He therefore merely presents it 
as a Curiosity, made from a beautiful native Porcelain, which 
is to be found in America. M r Champion took a similar Lib- 
erty during the War, in sending these Reliefs to the President, 
by way of Paris, but he never knew whether they arrived safe. 
These were finished, the ornaments having been enamelled 
with gold, which he laments is not the Case with these. But 
being two which he had by him, he brought them out 
England with him, and through forgetfulness or accident 
omitted it. 

M r Champion begs Major Jackson will pardon the Trouble 
he has given him, and will do him the Honour to accept one 
of the Considerations himself, which accompanies the other. 


Washington's Sonthei*n Tour 

M r Champion meant to have trespassed further upon Ma- 
jor Jackson's Indulgence in requesting to know whether the 
President had a Levee, but he finds that his stay will be 
short, and therefore is unwilling to break in upon the hour be- 
fore Dinner, as the President must necessarily be fatigued, 
but will hope at that time to have the Honour of being pre- 
sented to him. 

[Endorsed]: From 
M r Champion 
at Camden. 1 

The plaque, of pure white porcelain, referred to in this 
letter, is now in the National Art Gallery at Washington, 
and is herewith reproduced with the courteous permission 
of the owner, Mr. W. G. Peter. It is thus described by 
the late Charles Henry Hart: "The portrait is evidently 
after Peale's picture of 1777. Above the medallion are the 
emblems of the revolted colonies, liberty cap, and rattle- 
snake, crowned by a coronet with thirteen points, for the 
thirteen original states, each point capped with a star. Be- 
neath the emblem is the shield of the Washington arms, 
and around it the flags of the Congress are festooned. 
When we remember that this was made in England by an 
Englishman during the heat of the war, his daring and 
friendliness must elicit our homage and our admiration." 2 
Hart says that the greatest work of Champion's china 
factory at Bristol, England, was "the tea-service he made 
and presented to Mrs. Burke in commemoration of her 
husband's return as member for Bristol." 

Richard Champion was a warm friend of the Colonies, 

1 In Washington Papers, vol. 298, p. 40055, Library of Congress. 

2 See "Original Portraits of Washington," by C. H. Hart, Century Mag- 
azine, vol. 43. 




ua '"EMiTif of mmois 

Camden and Charlotte 

and a great admirer of Washington and Franklin. In a 
remarkable letter to Ralph Izard from Bristol, July 16, 
1777, Champion says : "May you then — when we cease to 
be one people — enjoy that happiness, which was formerly 
our common lot — and practising the Virtues which have 
characterized an Englishman — may you continue the 
race of Heroes to which — well as I love my country — I 
must almost confess — England itself has lost its claim." l 
In the very year of Washington's Southern tour, Champion 
died (October 7, 1791). His only granddaughter was mar- 
ried to the only son of Chancellor De Saussure of South 
Carolina. The "Work," which accompanied the letter and 
plaque was Champion's own pamphlet — probably the 
pamphlet on "America" issued in 1784. The letter, hith- 
erto unpublished, is herewith reproduced in full: 

To the President of the United States 

Although your Fellow Citizens felt the full force of the in- 
vigorating Hand which first secured to them their Liberty 
and their Peace, and which has since, by its wise Administra- 
tion, supported their Rank amidst the Nations of the Earth, 
there still remained, amongst many of them, an unsatisfied 
Desire, an anxious Wish to behold the face of their Benefac- 
tor, to whom, as the first and best Instrument of a merciful 
Providence, they are indebted for these Blessings. It was an 
Event which seemed necessary to the Consummation of their 
Happiness. They have now obtained the Gratification of 
their Wishes. For this auspicious Day has brought with it 
its full Accomplishment. 

Amidst the Congratulations which surround you on this 
happy occasion, suffer me, Sir, a Sharer in the Distress, a par- 

1 Correspondence of Ralph Izard. (Francis and Co. 1844.) 

Washington's Southern Tour 

taker in the Joys of my Country, to pay my humble Tribute 
of affectionate Duty and respectful Acknowledgment. 

United, Sir, to this Country by Blood, by Affinity, and by 
an early and zealous Attachment to Liberty, the most active 
Exertions within the Compass of my small Power and Ability, 
and upon the purest principles, was made by me during the 
War; in the earlier part of it to promote Reconciliation, in the 
latter Stage, Peace. It was equally Patriotism both in Eng- 
land and America (yet few in England felt the force of this 
Duty) to oppose Attempts alike tyrannce [tyrannous] and 
unjust, unpolitic and absurd, upon the success or failure of 
which depended the Ruin or Preservation of their Liberty. 

The Attempt failed, and the Sovereignty of the United 
States was acknowledged. This awful Separation of a great 
Empire, whose united Efforts had equalled the most powerful 
Exertions of antient or modern Times, made a deep Impres- 
sion upon the Minds of those, who conceived at least the pos- 
sibility of converting the antient Affection of Fellow Citizens 
into the Attachment of faithful Allies. Under this Impression 
a Work was offered by me to the Public, with a View to point 
out the true Interests of a People, who had too long unhappily 
forsaken them. But the offering was fruitless. Our Separa- 
tion appeared to be confirmed. Yet the Distance preserved 
by Great Britain was not without its Utility to this Country. 
It demonstrated to us, that from her own Exertions, America 
should derive her Strength. Of this Work, I beg, Sir, the 
Honour of your Acceptance. I have since published another, 
which is in some Measure a Continuation, but unfortunately 
I have no Copy. 

Many Years have now elapsed since I became a Citizen of 
this State. A Period, almost wholly spent in Retirement de- 
voted to literary Pursuits. The Manuscript which accompa- 
nies this, and of which I likewise beg, Sir, your Acceptance, 
contains some cursory Reflections upon the Country, which 
you now honour with your Presence. It is a mere sketch, 
written upon a temporary occasion, never published and is 
intended for a large work; of which I have many Materials, 
and which a very perfect knowledge of the Court of Great 


Camden and Charlotte 

Britain, during the reign of its present Monarch, has afforded 

Vanity is said to be, probably with Truth, the ruling Pas- 
sion of an Author. But, Sir, Vanity on this Occasion almost 
ceases to be a foible. Affection, Duty, Veneration, and every 
Incitement which can warm the Heart of a Man in private 
Life, at the Sight of his Benefactor, must operate in the high- 
est and most powerful Degree at the Sight of the Benefactor 
of Millions. The Widow, Sir, will throw in her Mite. And 
even the feeble Voice of an humble Individual will be heard, 
when, amidst a whole People, he turns to you, Sir, who, under 
Providence, was our greatest Benefactor; when in imploring 
for you all manner of Happiness and Prosperity, and in 
that Prayer is included the Happiness and Prosperity of the 
United States, he joins the universal Cry in saluting you, the 
Father of your Country. 

History, Sir, is sparing of Characters in which the Virtues 
of public and of private Life, conspicuously shewn in the vari- 
ous and trying Occasions which you have experienced, have 
been so fully proved, and so strikingly exerted. You was 
drawn, Sir, from the privacy of Retirement by Nations who, 
differing in Principles and discordant in manners, were unan- 
imous in their Call upon you. The Integrity of your Princi- 
ples, the Mildness of your Manners, converted their Austerity 
or their Licentiousness into union of Sentiment, and Liber- 
ality of Opinion. And when in an unequal and unexpected 
Contest, you were devoid of every other Resource, than those 
which you drew from the greatness of your Abilities, the firm- 
ness of your Mind, unappalled in Danger, and prepared for 
Events, your Caution and Prudence secured our Safety, your 
Activity and Valour established our Independence. 

Yet, Sir, whilst the Plaudits of a well-earned Triumph were 
sounding in your Ears, you lost not the Relish of Retirement, 
of those solid Satisfactions which your Integrity and your Pa- 
triotism had so justly and dearly purchased. Such however 
was the Situation of your Fellow Citizens, that your Absence 
from the Administration was incompatible with their Safety. 
They were constrained, Sir, to do violence to their Feelings, in 


Washington's Southern Tour 

requesting of you the Sacrifice of the sweets of Retirement; in 
which at an advanced Period of Life, we can alone be said to 
live. But the Prosperity of your Country, the fate of future 
Millions depended upon your Compliance. And you hesi- 
tated not, even at the Greatness of this Sacrifice. You, Sir, 
cheerfully obeyed the Call of your fellow Citizens, and as- 
sumed the Administration. 

And now, Sir, tried as you have been in the most critical 
Situations — in Adversity, whose rugged Brow has only served 
to illustrate your Virtues, in Prosperity whose swelling sails 
have not disturbed the Serenity of your Mind, in the Admin- 
istration of Government, which has proved a Source of Bless- 
ing to your Country, what more have we to ask of the most 
high God, than a Continuance of the Happiness which we en- 
joy under your Government. And that, when full of Days and 
full of Honour, it shall please his Providence to remove you 
into the Regions of Eternity, you may leave the People of 
these United States, which first formed under your Auspices, 
and now nurtured by your Care, are rising into a great and 
powerful Nation, happy in themselves, and happy in the Re- 
membrance of those Virtues, to which they owe these Bless- 
ings. In the Remembrance of those Actions which will be 
faithfully recorded by Posterity, for the Benefit and In- 
struction of the future Ages of the World. It is for them, Sir, 
that your Labours have been employed, and by them your 
Actions will be approved. 

I have the Honour to be with every grateful Sentiment of 
Esteem, Respect, and Attachment, 

Your much obliged, faithful, 
and most obedient Servant 
Richard Champion 
Rocky Branch 
May 24 th 1 79 1 
[Edorsed in G. W.'s hand:] 

Rich d Champion Esq r 24 th May 1791 1 

1 Letters to Washington, Library of Congress. It may be that the 
"work" which Champion presented to Washington along with this letter 


Camden and Charlotte 

Washington's diary for Friday (27th) is as follows: 

Left Ingrams about 4 o'clock, and breakfasting at one 
Barr's 18 miles distant lodged at Majr. Crawford's 8 miles 
farther — About 2 miles from this place I came to the Corner 
where the No. Carolina line comes to the Rd. — from whence 
the Road is the boundary for 12 miles more. — At Majr. 
Crawford's I was met by some of the chiefs of the Catawba 
nation who seemed to be under apprehension that some at- 
tempts were making, or would be made to deprive them of 
part of the 40,000 Acres wch. was secured to them by Treaty 
and wch. is bounded by this Road. 1 

The following brief comment on the land through 
which Washington passed appears in the diary for Satur- 
day, 28th: 

It was not, until I had got near Barrs that I had quit the 
Piney & Sandy lands — nor until I had got to Crawfords 
before the lands took quite a different complexion — here 
they began to assume a very rich look. 

At the boundary line, Washington was met by a party 
of the Mecklenburg Horse — but, says Washington, 

was his Comparative Reflections on the past and present Political, Commer- 
cial and Civil State of Great Britain, with some Thoughts concerning Emigra- 
tion, published anonymously on the eve of his departure for America in 
1784. A second edition, published in 1787, bore Champion's name as au- 
thor. Compare Historic Camden, by Kirkland and Kennedy (Columbia, 
S.C., 1905), pp. 362-66. 

1 The Catawba (Kadapau) were found living about where we have al- 
ways known them as early as 1567. The small remnant may still be found 
on Catawba River, about on the border of North Carolina and South Caro- 
lina. Save for their alliance with the hostil Yamasi in 171 5, they were uni- 
formly friendly to the English and afterwards to their successors, the Amer- 
icans. Through warfare with other Indian tribes and through disease which 
was prevalent among them, they were reduced by the end of the eighteenth 
century to but a pitiful remnant. In 1763 they had confirmed to them a 
reservation of fifteen miles square, on both sides of the Catawba River, 
within the present York and Lancaster Counties, South Carolina. Consult 
The Siouan Tribes of the West, by James Mooney; and Indians of North 
Carolina (Washington, 191 5). 


Washington's Southern Tour 

"these being near their homes, I dismissed them." More- 
over, according to the account of Dr. Charles Caldwell, 1 
an incident which Washington mentions in his diary, 
he was met at the boundary line between North 
and South Carolina by thirteen young men from the 
Salisbury Military Company, one to represent each of the 
original thirteen colonies. Caldwell's is the fullest account 
extant of personal incidents connected with Washington's 
time, other than Washington's diary; and is given below 
in full. Caldwell, who was vain and eccentric, evidently 
regarded the whole occasion as one deserving elaborate 
description ; and in spite of the egoism displayed, the re- 
cital has a peculiar interest: 

One reminiscence more, connected with Salisbury, shall 
close the history of myself in the South; at least, in that par- 
ticular part of the South. It was during my residence in that 
place, that I had first an opportunity of seeing and approach- 
ing the person of General Washington, and the gratification 
of being noticed by him. The circumstances of the case were 
as follows : — 

Some years after his first election to the chief magistracy 

1 Charles Caldwell, according to his own statement, was born "in Orange, 
now Caldwell County, on Moon's Creek, a small branch of Dan River, 
about twenty miles south of the southern border of Virginia," on May 14, 
1772. While still a young man, Caldwell was appointed Professor of Natu- 
ral History in the University of Pennsylvania. About 18 19 he removed to 
the West and became head of the medical department of Transylvania Uni- 
versity, Lexington, Kentucky. Later (1837) he founded the Louisville 
Medical Institute, in which he occupied the chairs of the Institutes of Med- 
icine, Medical Jurisprudence, and Chemical Medicine. A man of distinc- 
tion, though strangely eccentric and vain, Caldwell was widely acquainted 
with eminent scientists and distinguished public characters in England and 
Europe as well as in the United States. He died in Louisville, Kentucky, on 
July 9, 1853. At the time he wrote, he claimed that his autobiography cov- 
ered the longest period of time (almost eighty years) ever covered by any 


Camden and Charlotte 

of the Union, the General made the tour of the Southern 
States; to all of which, Virginia excepted, he was personally 
a stranger. In his journey to the South, he travelled by the 
eastern and low-country route; but, on his return, journeying 
in North Carolina, by the western and hill-country route, he 
passed through Salisbury. 

On learning that such was the course he purposed to pursue, 
the youth of note in the place, high-toned in feelings of State 
pride and patriotism, and not disinclined to military pomp 
and show (I being one of them), met in a body, as if by an in- 
stinctive impulse, on the call of another young man and my- 
self, organized themselves into a company of light dragoons, 
and elected, as their captain, a gallant and gentlemanly offi- 
cer, and a splendid swordsman, who, in our revolutionary 
war, had distinguished himself as standard-bearer in one of 
the corps of Lee's legion of horse. The leading and most 
highly prized object of the company was to meet General 
Washington, at the confines of South and North Carolina 
and escort him, as a guard of honor, through about two- 
thirds, breadth, of the latter State. 

When our company was organized and fully equipped, we 
rode as fine and richly caparisoned horses, wore as costly and 
splendid uniforms, and made as brilliant an appearance as 
any cavalry company of the same size (fifty-five, officers and 
privates), which the General had ever reviewed. Of this fact 
(no doubt the most highly-prized one that could have been 
communicated to us) we were kindly and courteously assured 
by himself. My rank in the company was that of a standard- 

Instead of the whole command proceeding in a body to 
meet the President (such was Washington at the time), a de- 
tachment of thirteen privates (one for each State) was dis- 
patched to meet him at the southern boundary of North 
Carolina (a distance of about seventy or eighty miles), wel- 
come him to the State by a salutatory address, and escort him 
to within about fifteen miles of Salisbury, where the whole 
company was encamped to receive him. 

Of this detachment, chosen by lot (for no private was will- 


Washington *s Southern Tour 

ing to yield to another the eagerly-sought honor and gratifi- 
cation of belonging to it), I was, with the highly-prized ap- 
probation of my comrades, appointed to the command. And 
never was man more proud of an appointment. I would not 
have exchanged my post for that of Governor of the Com- 
monwealth. I was to receive the President, at the head of my 
escort, and deliver to him, in person, the intended address of 
welcome into my native State. And my supposed fitness for 
a very creditable discharge of that duty (for, as heretofore 
mentioned, I was accounted an excellent speaker), had con- 
tributed not a little toward my appointment to the office. 

In a short time my address was mentally composed, and 
committed, not indeed to paper, but to my memory; and I 
often repeated it, silently, when in company, but audibly, 
when alone; thinking of but little else, either by day or by 
night, except; the strict discipline and soldier-like appear- 
ance of my little band. 

At length, flushed with high spirits and bounding hearts, 
we were in full march toward the boundary line of the State. 

From the time of our advance within ten miles of the place 
of our destination, I kept, in my front, three videttes, distant 
a mile from each other — the nearest of them being a mile 
from the head of my little column — to convey to me half- 
hourly intelligence respecting the approach of the President, 
who was understood to travel alternately in his carriage and 
on horseback. At length one of my look-outs returned, at 
full speed, with information that a travelling carriage had 
been seen by him, and was then about a mile and a half in his 
rear. Instantly, everything was in complete preparation for 
the coming event. Had an enemy been advancing on us, or 
we on him, our excitement could not have been more intense. 
Our column was compact, our steeds reined up to their mettle, 
but held in check; each man, his cap and plume duly ad- 
justed, seated firmly and horseman-like in his saddle, and our 
swords drawn and in rest, the sheen of their blades as bright 
and dazzling as the beams of a southern sun could render it. 

In this order we advanced slowly, until a light coach made 
its appearance in our front, and became the object of every 


Camden and Charlotte 

eye of our party. The day being warm, the windows of it 
were open, and my first glance into its interior plainly told 
me that Washington was not there. But his secretary was; 
and he informed me that the General was on horseback, a 
short distance in his rear. Proceeding onward, the movement 
of a few minutes brought us in full view of Washington, on 
the summit of a hill, seated on a magnificent milk-white 
charger, a present to him by Frederick of Prussia, near the 
close of the revolutionary war. Nor is it deemed an inadmis- 
sible deviation from my narrative to add that that present 
was accompanied by another, from the same royal personage, 
still more highly complimentary and honorary — an exqui- 
sitely finished and richly ornamented dress-sword, inscribed, 
in gold letters, "From the oldest to the greatest general of the 
age." When a courtier, of supple knee and oily tongue, ven- 
tured to differ from Frederick in relation to the sentiment 
expressed by this inscription, and even presumed virtually to 
contradict him, by saying: "Sire, permit your subject to be- 
lieve that you are yourself the greatest general of the age;" 
the monarch replied: "No, I am not; Washington surpasses 
me. I conquered with means; he has conquered without 

The circumstances of my first view of the great American 
were as well calculated to render the sight imposing, not to 
say romantically picturesque and impressive, as any that the 
most inventive and apt imagination could have devised. The 
day (the hour being about n a. m.) was uncommonly bril- 
liant and beautiful, even as the product of a southern climate. 
The sky was slightly azure, its arch unusually lofty and ex- 
panded, and not a cloud interposed to detract from its radi- 
ance. I was ascending a hill of sufficient elevation to shorten 
materially the distance to the horizon, which rested on its 
top; and the road leading up it was lined, on each side, by an- 
cient forest-trees, in their rich apparel of summer foliage. 

In the midst of this landscape, already abundantly attrac- 
tive and exciting, just as I had advanced about half-way up 
the hill, the President turned its summit, and began to de- 
scend. The steps of his charger were measured and proud, as 


TVashi?igtori*s Southern Tour 

if the noble animal was conscious of the character and stand- 
ing of his rider. On the bright canvas of the heavens behind 
them, the horseman and horse formed a superb and glorious 
picture. As the figure advanced, in the symmetry and grace 
of an equestrian statue of the highest order, it reminded me 
of Brahma's descent from the skies. True, the charger did 
not, in his pride and buoyancy, "paw the bright clouds, and 
gallop in the storm;" but he trod with unusual majesty on 
the face of the hill. 

As I approached the President, an awe came over me, such 
as I had never before experienced. And its effect on me was 
as deeply mortifying, as it was unprecedented. Never had I 
previously quailed before anything earthly. But I was now 
unmanned. Not only did I forget my oft-repeated address, 
but I became positively unable to articulate a word. My im- 
agination had placed me, if not in the immediate presence of a 
god of its own creating, in that of a man so far above the rank 
of ordinary mortals, as to be approximated to that of the 
gods of fable. Having advanced, therefore, to within a be- 
coming distance from him, I received him, in silence, with the 
salute of my sword. I could do no more; I became actually 
giddy; for an instant my vision grew indistinct; and, though 
unsurpassed as a rider, I felt unsteady in my seat, and almost 
ready to fall from my horse, under the shock of my failure, a 
shock trebly strengthened and embittered by its occurrence 
at the head of the band I commanded, and under the eye 
of the man I almost adored. My employment of the term 
"adored" is neither unpremeditated nor inadvertent. It is 
deliberate and earnest. For, were alleged in disfavor of me, 
that I actually idolized the illustrious personage then before 
me, I could hardly appeal to my conscience for the incorrect- 
ness of the charge. 

Quick to perceive my embarrassment, and equally inclined 
and prompt to relieve it, Washington returned my salute 
with marked courtesy, and, speaking kindly, paused for a 
moment, and then desired that we might proceed, I riding 
abreast of him, on his left, and the privates of my escort fall- 
ing in double file into the rear. This opportune measure set 


Camden and Charlotte 

me more at my ease; but still I did not venture to open my 
lips, until my silence rendered me seriously apprehensive that 
the President would deem me wholly incompetent to the com- 
plimentary duty on which I had been dispatched. And that 
thought produced in me a fresh embitterment. But many 
minutes had not elapsed when my condition and prospects 
began to brighten. 

Fortunately, I possessed an intimate and accurate acquaint- 
ance with the people and localities of the tract of country 
through which we were to journey, as well as with its gen- 
eral and special history, both remote and recent. And it had 
been the theatre of several memorable enterprises and scenes 
of battle and blood, during the revolutionary war. Most of 
the conflicts had occurred between Whigs and Tories; but 
some of them between the troops under General Greene and 
Lord Cornwallis. And respecting each and all of them, I had 
learned so much from my revolutionary father and brothers, 
who had been engaged in several of them, that my familiarity 
with them was almost as minute and vivid as if I had been an 
actor in them myself. But, before speaking of them, I held 
it to be a duty, which I owed to myself, to apprise General 
Washington of the cause of my failure, on first approaching 
him, to tender to him the salutation to which he was entitled, 
and which I had intended. 

As soon, therefore, as I had recovered the complete com- 
mand of my mind and my tongue, I frankly, and, now, with 
no lack of readiness and fluency, communicated to him the 
cause of my previous silence. I told him that I had been dis- 
patched by my commanding officer, with the escort which I 
led, to meet and salute him, with a becoming welcome, to the 
State of my nativity. My mortifying failure to discharge that 
duty I entreated him to attribute to the deep and irresistible 
embarrassment I had experienced on my first approach to him. 
This explanation was closed by an assurance, under a man- 
ifestation of feeling which must have been obvious to him, 
that his presence had for a short time so completely overawed 
me, as to deprive me entirely of the power of utterance; and 
that it had been hence impossible for me to greet him with 


Washington's Southern Tour 

any other salutation than that of my sword; which, I added 
(perhaps too ostentatiously, and, therefore, improperly), I 
would have been proud to have wielded, under his command, 
in the late war, had I not been too young. 

Giving me a look, if not of approval, certainly of neither 
dissatisfaction nor rebuke — 

"Pray, sir," said he, "have you lived long in this part of 
the country?" 

"Ever since my childhood, sir." 

"You are then, I presume, pretty well acquainted with it." 

"Perfectly, sir; I am familiar with every hill, and stream, 
and celebrated spot it contains." 

" During the late war, if my information be correct, the in- 
habitants were true to the cause of their country, and brave 
in its defence." 

"Your information is correct, sir. They were, almost to a 
man, true-hearted Whigs and patriots, and as gallant soldiers 
as ever drew swords or pointed rifles in behalf of freedom. 
In Mecklenburg County, where we now are, and in Rowan, 
which lies before us, a Tory did not dare to show his face — if 
he were known to be a Tory. It was in a small town, through 
which we shall pass, that Lord Cornwallis lay encamped, 
when he swore that he had never before been in such a d-n-d 
nest of Whigs — for that he could not, in the surrounding 
country, procure a chicken or a pig for his table, or a gallon of 
oats for his horse, but by purchasing it with the blood of his 
soldiers, who went in quest of it." 

"Pray, what is the name of that town?" 

"Charlotte, sir, the county town of Mecklenburg, and the 
place where independence was declared about a year before 
its declaration by Congress; and my father was one of the 
Whigs who were concerned in the glorious transaction. We 
shall arrive at Charlotte to-morrow morning," I continued, 
"where you will be enthusiastically received, by five hundred 
at least — perhaps twice the number, of the most respectable 
inhabitants of the country; a large portion of whom served, in 
some capacity, in the revolutionary war — several of them, 
I believe, as officers and privates, under your own command. 



george w. rrox I 


After the medallion painted by the Marquise de Brehan in 
New York, 1789 


Camden and Charlotte 

When I passed through the town yesterday morning, a large 
number of them had already assembled, and the crowd was 
rapidly increasing. And they are exceedingly provident. Con- 
vinced that they cannot all be supplied in the town, with 
either food or lodging, many of them have brought with them 
large and well-covered farm-wagons, for their bed-chambers, 
and enough of substantial food, already cooked, for a week's 
subsistence. Others again have already erected, and are still 
erecting, for their temporary residence, in the midst of a 
beautiful and celebrated grove (where a victory was gained, 
by a company of militia riflemen, over a party of Tarleton's 
dragoons), the very tents under which they slept as soldiers, 
in the service of their country. And they are about as obsti- 
nate and noisy a set of gentlemen as I have ever met, or ever 
wish to meet again — especially when in a hurry. I was 
obliged, much against my will, to hold a long parley with 
them, yesterday morning, when I wished to be in motion to 
meet you, lest you might anticipate me in reaching the 
boundary line of the State." 

The General was evidently pleased with my narrative, and 
so diverted by the increased freedom and ease of my manner 
(for I was now perfectly myself), that though he did not actu- 
ally smile (for he very rarely smiled), he seemed at times, as I 
fancied, more inclined to a little merriment than to maintain 
unchanged his habitually grave and dignified aspect. 

Reference was then made to several events of note, which 
had occurred in the southern revolutionary war. And respect- 
ing one of them, in particular, of great brilliancy, and no little 
moment, I was astonished to find that I was much better in- 
formed than Washington himself. To such an extent was this 
true, that he appeared to be even more astonished than I 
was. Indeed, from some of the expressions used by him, I 
was at first apprehensive that he was incredulous of my story. 
This induced me to speak with more energy and positiveness 
than I had previously employed, and to specify a few of the 
most striking and memorable events of the affair. I allude to 
the battle at Ramsauer's Mill, in which about three hundred 
Whigs, then fresh from their homes, and who had never be- 


Washington's Southern Tour 

fore been in a field of battle, attacked and defeated, with 
great slaughter, in a selected and fortified position, twelve 
hundred Tories, and made six hundred of them prisoners. 

The reason why I was better informed than Washington 
respecting this gallant and sanguinary action, is plain and 
satisfactory. It had been fought in an obscure and rather 
frontier situation, in the South, by two bodies of militia, and 
had never been fully recorded in print. To Washington, there- 
fore, no opportunity to read an account of it had been pre- 
sented; a formal dispatch respecting it had not been forwarded 
to him, because it had no immediate connection with the reg- 
ular army; and the sphere of his operations being in the North, 
little or no correct intelligence in relation to it had been com- 
municated to him through any other channel. 

But very different had been my opportunity to acquire in- 
formation with regard to that action. With a large number 
of the Whigs engaged in it, my father and brothers were ac- 
quainted at the time; and with not a few of them I myself be- 
came acquainted, as a youth, at a subsequent period. Nor 
was this all. One of my brothers had himself been deeply 
concerned in the battle, having led into it about sixty of the 
most disciplined and expert riflemen in the country. 

From my early boyhood, therefore, I had been familiar with 
the details of the "Battle of Ramsauer's Mill," having heard 
them recited scores of times, in the form of a fireside and ex- 
citing story. 

I need hardly remark that, by the indulgent attention with 
which the President honored my narratives and representa- 
tions, and the kind and complimentary replies he occasionally 
made to me, I was highly gratified. He at length inquired 
of me whether he might expect to meet at Charlotte any of 
the leading members of the convention which prepared and 
passed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, and 
especially whether my father would be there. I replied that 
my father was dead, and that Dr. Brevard, the author of the 
Declaration was also dead; that, of the members of the con- 
vention still living, I knew personally but two — Adam Alex- 
ander, who had been president of the body, and John McKnitt 


Camden and Charlotte 

Alexander, his brother, who had been its Secretary; that they 
were far advanced in life, and lived at some distance from 
Charlotte, but that I felt confident their ever-green spirit of 
patriotism, united to their strong desire to see him, would 
bring them there, should they be able to travel. 

On the evening of that day, having arrived at the head- 
quarters of the troop to which I belonged, I surrendered my 
place to my superiors in rank, and received from Washington, 
in their presence, a compliment — peculiarly gratifying to 
me, as well on account of the manner of its bestowal as of 
its own import — on what he was pleased to pronounce my 
"honorable and exemplary deportment as an officer, and the 
interesting and valuable information I had imparted to him 
respecting the country and its inhabitants" through which I 
had escorted him. 1 

On Saturday, 28th, Washington left Crawford's at four 
o'clock in the morning, and after travelling eighteen miles, 
reached Harrison's. 2 After a brief rest, Washington drove 
thirteen miles farther; reaching Charlotte before three 
o'clock. " On this eventful Saturday," we are told, " crowds 
of people on foot, on horseback, and the better order of 
peasantry in vehicles, came to the little village of Char- 
lotte to catch a glimpse of Washington. It was the first 
and only time that many of them had seen the tall and 
dignified form of the man who will always be marked as 
the greatest American. The streets and adjoining roads 
were lined with men, women and children for hours before 
his arrival, for it was not as a certainty known when he 

1 Autobiography of Charles Caldwell, M.D. With a Preface, Notes, and 
Appendix, by Harriot W. Warner. (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, and 
Co., 1855. Pp. 88-96.) 

2 Harrison's was about three miles below the present Pineville. It disap- 
peared after Pineville built up. 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

would reach Charlotte." x At the outskirts of the town, it 
would appear, Washington was met by a group of principal 
citizens of the little hamlet, headed by the Revolutionary 
soldier and patriot, General Thomas Polk. At the open- 
ing of the War of Independence, Polk was Colonel of the 
militia of Mecklenburg, and even earlier, he had been 
an active leader in agitating for separation from Great 
Britain. During the spring of 1775, a number of meetings 
were held at the academy in Charlotte, known as Queen's 
Museum or College, looking toward independence. "Tom 
Polk," says Richard Cogdell in a letter (June 18, 1775) to 
Richard Caswell, afterwards Governor of North Carolina, 
" is raising a pretty spirit in the back country" — refer- 
ring to the passage of a series of drastic resolutions at Char- 
lotte, May 31, 1775, virtually asserting independence of 
Great Britain and setting up a government in its place for 
the people of Mecklenburg County. This is believed by 
many people to have followed a meeting of May 20th pre- 
ceding, at which a declaration of independence was read. 
Colonel Thomas Polk is known to have read some famous 
declaration or series of resolutions — either on May 20th 
or 31st — from the steps of the court-house door in Char- 
lotte. His son-in-law, Ephraim Brevard, was the secre- 
tary of the meeting which, on May 31st, drafted the famous 
resolutions printed in many contemporary newspapers. 2 
As Washington, Polk, and party rode through the streets 

1 "Washington in Charlotte," by George R. Prowell, in Charlotte Daily 
Observer, January 9, 1898. 

2 Compare Archibald Henderson: The Mecklenburg Declaration oj Inde- 
pendence and the Revolution in North Carolina in IJJ5 (privately printed, 


Camden and Charlotte 

of the little hamlet, 1 lined with the sturdy yeomanry of 
Mecklenburg, their wives, and children, who greeted the 
President with many a hearty cheer, they passed through 
what is now Independence Square, where stood the old 
court-house, poised high above the ground on six tall pil- 
lars. " From the steps of the court house over there, sir," 
General Polk no doubt remarked to Washington, "I had 
the honor of reading what we Mecklenburgers regard as 
the first overt assertion of freedom from British rule 
promulgated on this continent." And he perhaps added 
with a laugh: "The people were so enthusiastic that they 
threw up their hats in all directions, and some of them fell 
on the roof of the court house." 

The President's party soon reached the handsome co- 
lonial residence of General Polk, which had been used by 
Cornwallis in 1780 as headquarters. 2 Here Washington 
found, as he says, a "Table prepared for the purpose," — 

1916); and "The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence," in Missis- 
sippi Valley Historical Review, vol. v, no. 2 (September, 191 8). The Meck- 
lenburg Resolves of May 31, 1775, were printed in The North Carolina 
Gazette of June 16, 1775, a copy of which was enclosed in the letter of Rich- 
ard Cogdell mentioned above. 

1 Washington in his diary calls it a "trifling place." In 1800 it contained 
only 65 free persons and 59 slaves. In his diary (May 6, 1791), William 
Lough ton Smith, of South Carolina, says: "Near Charlotte are some finely 
cultivated fields. This place does not deserve the name of a town, it con- 
sists only of a wretched Court House, and a few dwellings falling to decay. 
There is a good tavern kept by Mason, where, however, I paid the dearest 
bill on the road." 

2 This house stood back of the northeast corner of the present Jordan's 
Drug Store. On October 11, 1780, General Polk wrote as follows from 
"Camp, Yadkin River," to the North Carolina Board of War: "I have the 
pleasure to inform you that on Saturday last the noted Colonel Ferguson, 
with 150 men, fell on King's Mountain; 800 taken prisoners, with 150 stand 
of arms. Cleveland and Campbell commanded. Glorious affair. In a few 
days doubt not we shall be in Charlotte, and I will take possession of my 


Washington'* s Southern Tour 

evidently out in the yard, picnic style — to which a small 
party invited by General Polk sat down with Washington, 
Jackson, and Polk, which probably included Adam Alex- 
ander, John McKnitt Alexander, Robert Irwin, Nathaniel 
Alexander, afterwards Governor of North Carolina, Gen- 
eral Joseph Graham, and his brother, General George Gra- 
ham. Although no contemporary newspaper containing 
a description of the visit to Charlotte has come to light, 
it is scarcely to be doubted that, as was the uniform cus- 
tom of the day, toasts were proposed and drunk. And 
what more likely than for Washington, turning to his hosts, 
to propose a toast to "The new Prosperity of this Town 
and Country, whose people were foremost in the demand 
for independence " ? Of one thing we may be sure : that the 
table revolved about the events of the Revolution — of 
Greene and Comwallis, of Davie and Sumner, of the battle 
of Charlotte and the affair at Mclntire's farm, of King's 
Mountain and Ramseur's Mill — local engagements and 
battles in which certain of the guests had behaved with 
distinguished gallantry. Conversation turned, too, to the 
subject of Queen's Museum, the Fanueil Hall of western 
North Carolina, which Washington perhaps visited — 
for he says in his diary concerning Charlotte: "The Court- 
house of Mecklenburg is held in it — There is a school 
(called a College) in it at which, at times there has been 
50 or 60 boys." Here General Polk's son-in-law, Ephraim 

house and his lordship take the woods." In his Men and Times of the Revolu- 
tion, Elkanah Watson says of a visit to Charlotte in 1785: "I carried letters 
to the courteous General Polk, and remained two days at his residence in 
the deliphtful society of his charming family." 


Camden and Charlotte 

Brevard, who is said to have drafted the Resolves of May 
31st, had served as a tutor; and here, a few years before 
Washington's visit, that great Carolinian, Andrew Jack- 
son, acquired a smattering of learning. General Thomas 
Polk was a trustee of this little college — first as Queen's 
Museum and afterwards when its name was changed to 
Liberty Hall. 1 

After the open-air dinner at General Polk's, which was 
followed by a reception, the President and Major Jackson 
were escorted to Cook's Inn, a two-story building kept 
by one Captain Cook. "In those days," said Dr. George 
Graham in a lecture on the historic localities of Mecklen- 
burg County, "gentlemen wore their hair long, plaited in 
a cue and powdered, and a box of powder always formed a 
place in their dressing case. On this occasion the President, 
after making his toilet, neglected to replace the box in his 
valise, and it became the property of Mrs. Cook, who 
amused herself with powdering the heads of the girls and 
young ladies who rushed to the inn after the departure of 
the great hero to hear the news, remarking to each one as 
she applied the puff: 'Now you can always remember that 
you have had the distinction of having your hair powdered 
from General Washington's box.'" 2 

1 Consult "The Story of Queen's College or Liberty Hall in the Province 
of North Carolina," by Marshall De Lancey Haywood in North Carolina 
Booklet (1912). 

2 Elizabeth Kennedy, daughter of James Kennedy, a prosperous mer- 
chant who lived where the Central Hotel was afterward located, was one of 
the party thus honored, and afterward related the incident. Cook's Inn 
was on the site of Query's Store, which was standing in 1893; hereon now 
stands the Selwyn Hotel. Dr. Graham's lecture was published in the Char- 
lotte Observer, December 25, 1893. 



North Carolina: Salisbury and Salem 

WASHINGTON'S punctuality on his long journey 
through the Southern States, says Custis," aston- 
ished every one. The trumpet call of the cavalry had 
scarcely ceased its echoes when a vidette would be seen 
coming in at full speed, and the cry resound far and wide, 
'He's coming!' Scarcely would the artillery-men unlim- 
ber the cannon, when the order would be given, 'Light 
your matches, the white chariot is in full view!' 

"Revolutionary veterans hurried from all directions 
once more to greet their beloved chief. They called it 
marching to headquarters; and as the dear glorious old 
fellows would overtake their neighbors and friends, they 
would say, ' Push on, my boys, if you wish to see him ; for 
we, who ought to know, can assure you that he is never 
behind time, but always punctual to the moment.' 

"It was thus that Washington performed his memorable 
tour . . . everywhere received with heartfelt homage that 
the love, veneration, and gratitude of a whole people 
could bestow; and there is no doubt yet living a gray head 
who can tell of the time when he gallantly rode to some 
village or inn on the long-remembered route to hail the 
arrival of the white chariot, and join in the joyous wel- 
come to the Father of his Country." 1 

1 G. W. P. Custis: Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington (New 
York, i860). 


Salisbury and Salem 

On the morning of the 29th of April, Washington was 
waited upon by the Honorable John Steele, Representa- 
tive in Congress from the Salisbury District, who, as 
Washington records in his diary, "was so polite as to come 
all the way to Charlotte to meet me." Five years later he 
was appointed by Washington Comptroller of the United 
States Treasury, a post he held under Washington, Adams, 
and Jefferson ; and he was offered the post of Secretary of 
the Treasury as successor to Oliver Wolcott, which he de- 
clined. "North Carolina has produced few individuals," 
says David L. Swain in writing of Steele, "whose public 
services offer more interesting topics for history and biog- 
raphy." 1 Steele, courtly, handsome, and bland, was very 
congenial with Washington. Doubtless their conversation 
touched as much on scientific agriculture — for Steele like 
Washington was a farmer who used methods much in ad- 
vance of the day — as on the political questions of the 
hour. This day was a quiet Sunday — Washington leaving 
Charlotte at seven o'clock and dining at "Col. Smith's 15 
miles off." This was Colonel, afterwards General, John 
Smith, who was said to be a captain in the first regiment 
of Revolutionary troops organized in the colony of North 
Carolina. Here, "in this secluded and lonely spot, a daily 
requiem is sung by the murmuring winds and carolling 
birds. . . . On an eminence to the right, after entering the 
place, is seen the family burying ground, filled and sur- 
rounded with a group of trees, out of the centre of which 

1 Consult Archibald Henderson: "John Steele," in North Carolina Book- 
let, vol. xvin, nos. 3 and 4 (191 9). 


Washington's Southern Tour 

rises two Lombardy poplars, shooting their natural spires 
towards the sky." l On this quiet Sunday, Washington and 
his party were hospitably received and entertained by 
Colonel Smith and his wife, nee Sarah Taylor Alexander. 
Mrs. Smith, a lineal descendant of the Earl of Stirling, was 
the widow of Colonel Moses Alexander, sometime head of 
the Mecklenburg militia. 2 

Leaving Colonel Smith's on Sunday afternoon, the Pres- 
ident arrived in time for supper at the home of Major 
Martin Phifer (Pfeiffer), 3 " Red Hill," in Cabarrus County, 
near Buffalo Creek, three miles west of the present Con- 
cord. The house stood on a prominent eminence over- 
looking for many miles the surrounding country. Major 
Phifer was a great hunter, and kept his table well supplied 

1 Consult "Visit to the Homestead of Col. Moses Alexander," by Mrs. 
H. M. Irwin, in The Southern Home, May 7, 1 880. A copy of this article was 
furnished me by Colonel F. Brevard McDowell, of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

2 In the family burying-ground of this country estate, now known as the 
"Morehead Place," in Cabarrus County, lie buried Major Robert W. 
Smith, the General's only son, a very wealthy man, who was painted by 
Rembrandt Peale; William Lee Alexander, son of Mrs. Smith by her first 
marriage, educated at Princeton and a distinguished lawyer; and his wife, 
Elizabeth, a daughter of Judge Richard Henderson, famous jurist-pioneer 
and President of the Transylvania Company. 

3 Martin Phifer (2), son of Martin (1) and Margaret (Blackwelder) 
Phifer, was born at "Coldwater," Cabarrus County, North Carolina, 
March 25, 1756. The Phifers were from Berne, Switzerland, and of Ger- 
man origin, descending from the Knights of Pfeiffersburg. Martin (1) and 
John Phifer, father and uncle respectively of Martin Phifer (2), came to 
America in 1739; and one year later settled in Cabarrus (now Mecklenburg) 
County, North Carolina. Martin (2) served with gallantry in the Revolu- 
tion. He was Captain of an "Independent Company of Light Horse," and 
participated in various engagements, notably Wright's Mill and German- 
town. According to tradition he was with Washington at Valley Forge. 
At one time he commanded a regiment of North Carolina State Militia, 
with the rank of colonel. In 1778 he was married to Elizabeth Locke. He 
died at "The Black Jacks," November 12, 1837. 


Salisbury and Salem 

with deer and other game. "He was six feet in height, of 
great strength and vigor. His complexion was ruddy and 
bright, animated and inviting. His hair he always wore 
brushed back, and in middle life, as it was turning gray, 
with his firm step, large and well built form, he was a fine 
specimen of a man — the handsomest man in all that part 
of the country. . . . When Washington made his tour South, 
he was the private guest of Martin for one night and part 
of the day. His wife, Elizabeth, made great preparation 
for the great man's coming, and was sorely disappointed 
when she found her distinguished guest so simple in his 
diet." 1 Major Phifer served in the Revolution, and for a 
time had his headquarters at Philadelphia. 

Washington made an unusually early start on Monday, 
30th — "at 4 o'clock I was out from Major Fifers" — 
being accompanied by General Steele; and after going 
about ten miles was met by a party of horse from Rowan 
County at the dividing line between Mecklenburg and 
Rowan. This was the party to which, presumably, young 
Charles Caldwell and his twelve companions were at- 
tached; it consisted of fifty-five in all, under the command 
of Captain John Beard, who had served in the Revolution. 
As Washington and his cavalcade neared the home of 
Richard Brandon, Esq. — at what is known as the old 
" Stockton Place," about six miles southwest of Salisbury 
— he bade the cavalcade stop and rode forward alone to 

1 Genealogy and History of the Phifer Family, by Charles H. Phifer (Char- 
lotte, 1910). Mrs. Phifer, nee Elizabeth Locke, came of a distinguished 
family of noble descent. Major Phifer was said to be at one time the largest 
landowner in North Carolina. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

the door of the farmhouse. Somewhat fatigued from his 
early start and exertions of the journey — for Washington 
was about sixty — and anticipating the ordeal of a long 
public reception at Salisbury, Washington determined 
upon a little rest and refreshment. At the door, in an- 
swer to his knock, appeared the rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed 
Betsy Brandon of some twelve summers. In reply to the 
stranger's inquiry if he might have a cup of coffee and 
some light refreshment, she answered that there was no 
one at home. 

"I am all alone," explained little Betsy, plaintively. 
"Everybody has gone to see General Washington but me. 
And oh! I do so wish I could see him!" 

"Well," replied the benign-looking stranger, who quickly 
won little Betsy's confidence, "I think we can arrange 
that. Let's make a bargain. If you'll make me a cup of 
coffee, I'll promise you a sight of General Washington." 

The bargain was immediately closed, the cup of coffee 
quickly prepared by the excited Betsy, and even more 
quickly drunk by the tired traveller. 

"Now," demanded Betsy, eager in her excitement and 
all unsuspicious, "you must keep your promise and show 
me General Washington." 

Imagine her astonishment, not unmixed with dismay, 
when the mild-mannered stranger, with a grave and genial 
smile, replied: 

"General Washington is now before you." l 

1 "George Washington's Tour through North Carolina," by Archibald 
Henderson, in the Charlotte Observer, January 14, 1912. 






Salisbury and Salem 

At the county line, the President and his cavalcade 
were met by the Rowan Light Horse Company, " com- 
pletely equipped and uniformed," under the command of 
Captain Montfort Stokes, the intimate friend of Andrew 
Jackson. 1 About five miles from Salisbury, the Presi- 
dent was met by a "large number of the most respectable 
gentlemen of the town and country," headed by Judge 
Spruce Macay, the Mayor of the Corporation of Salisbury, 
and including, no doubt, such distinguished citizens as the 
Honorable Maxwell Chambers, Dr. Charles Harris, Cap- 
tain Lewis Beard, General Matthew Locke, the Honor- 
able William Lee Alexander, and Dr. Samuel Eusebius 
McCorkle. Washington was doubtless impressed by the 
striking resemblance to Thomas Jefferson of the eminent 
Dr. McCorkle, graduate of Nassau Hall, and head of the 
famous Zion-Parnassus School — delightful union of 
Hebraism and Hellenism — the first (1785) normal school 
for teachers established in the United States. In this 
group was the Mayor's brother-in-law, a young man who 
afterward became a great criminal lawyer and the friend 
of John Marshall, Archibald Henderson. From this hour 
dated his admiration amounting to adulation of Wash- 
ington. He would not permit other men — "ordinary 
mortals" — to be classed in the same category or men- 
tioned in the same breath with Washington. 2 The Hon- 

1 Montfort Stokes was born in Lunenburg County, Virginia, March 12, 
1762; died at Fort Gibson, Arkansas, November 4, 1842. See footnote, 

2 Consult "A Federalist of the Old School," in the North Carolina Book- 
let, vol. xvii, nos. 1 and 2 (191 7). 


Washington's Southern Tour 

orable Spruce Macay, the Mayor of the Corporation, was 
a distinguished jurist, and a famous teacher of the law. 
Under him studied the brilliant partisan leader, General 
William Richardson Davie, afterwards Governor of North 
Carolina and "father of the University," and the reck- 
less, hare-brained son of old Waxhaw, cock-fighter, horse- 
racer, Andrew Jackson. Macay was married to Frances, 
daughter of Judge Richard Henderson, in 1785. He 
travelled the western circuit which carried him to the 
outposts of civilization in Tennessee, where he proved 
a terror to the horse-stealer and other criminals of the 

"At the skirt of the town," we read in a contemporary 
print, "he [Washington] was saluted by about forty boys 
in uniform, who had chosen officers, and arranged them- 
selves for that purpose" — each boy wearing in his hat a 
bucktail as a symbol of independence. This incident was 
"very pleasing to the President," who described it as "the 
nicest thing he had seen." l At the court-house he was 
saluted by the artillery company as he passed, and about 
eight o'clock when it was announced that he had entered 
his lodgings, the brass six-pound pieces were discharged 
fifteen times. A vast crowd from the town and the sur- 

1 "Visit of General Washington to Salisbury, N.C.," by Rev. A. W. Man- 
gum, The University Monthly, vol. iv, no. 6 (1884). Cf. also Rev. Jethro, 
Rumple's Rowan County (1881). Dr. Mangum, afterwards Professor of 
Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, collected historical mate- 
rials concerning Rowan County many years before Dr. Rumple began his 
investigations. Some of these historical papers, written in entertaining 
style, were published in magazines and in newspapers; others still remain in 


Salisbury and Salem 

rounding country for miles around gathered at the court- 
house in the public square and gave him an enthusiastic 
greeting with fervent cheers upon his arrival, as he rode 
majestically on horseback through the throng; and during 
the course of the day he " frequently gave the people op- 
portunity of seeing him." He then had breakfast at the 
tavern or hotel of Captain Edward Yarborough, on East 
Main Street. 1 During the forenoon he was "waited upon 
by the Hon. Mr. Steele, the Hon. Judge Macay, and Max. 
Chambers, Esq. magistrate of police, with a number of 
other gentlemen," who presented him with the following 


We have the honour to signify to you the joy which your 
presence, after a tedious journey, affords to the inhabitants 
of this place. Words are wanting to express the gratitude we 
owe to heaven for continuing your life, on which our national 
glory and domestic tranquility, even at this day, seem sus- 
pended. Situated at a remote distance from the seat of gov- 
ernment, deriving no advantage from the establishment of 
post roads, and destitute of regular information, we are some- 
times at a loss to form proper opinions of national measures; 
but we nevertheless boast, that we have been and still are 
zealously attached to order, and effective government. And 
having been ranked with those who suffered in the late war, 
we pledge ourselves to be amongst the foremost to maintain 
and perpetuate the federal government. That your life, 

1 Edward Yarborough, appointed by the North Carolina Provincial Con- 
gress, May 8, 1776, ensign in Captain Jacob Turner's company of Foot, 
Third Regiment, American Army; commissioned first lieutenant, Third 
Regiment, April 16, 1777; received commission as captain on May 10, 1779; 
completed his military service on January 1, 1783; was original member of 
the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, organized at Hillsborough, 
with General Jethro Sumner, of Warren County as President, and the Rev- 
erend Adam Boyd, brigade chaplain, of Wilmington, as Secretary. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

justly dear to the people of this country, a life precious, an 
ornament to human nature, and a blessing to the United 
States of America, may long be preserved, is the fervent and 
unanimous prayer of the people of this village. 

Spruce Macay 
Max: Chambers 
Jn°. Steele 
M. Stokes 
Chas. Harris 
L. Beard. 1 

1 Spruce Macay, of Scotch ancestry, was the son of James Macay of the 
"Jersey Settlement," prominent citizen, influential in councils of Church 
of England in St. Luke's Parish, and Clerk of the Committee of Safety for 
Rowan County during the early years of the Revolution. Spruce Macay 
was educated at the famous "log college" of Dr. David Caldwell. He was 
a member of the North Carolina Assembly for the Borough of Salisbury 
(1784), and member of the North Carolina Council of State (1781-82-83). 
In 1782 he was elected Judge of the Court of Oyer and Terminer for Mon- 
gan District, and rode the western circuit. Elected Judge of the Superior 
Court by the North Carolina Legislature in 1790, he served in this position 
until his death in 1808. He was married twice: to Frances, sister of Archi- 
bald Henderson, Esq., on May 27, 1785; and to Elizabeth Haynes, De- 
cember 30, 1794. He was an able jurist, and enjoyed great popularity 
throughout the State. He lies buried beside his first wife at the Jersey 
Meeting-House, Rowan County. 

Maxwell Chambers, a native of Pennsylvania, was born in 1742 and set- 
tled in Rowan County as early as 1764. He was Treasurer of the Commit- 
tee of Safety for Rowan County (1775-76). After the Revolution he lived 
at "Spring Hill," near Salisbury. He was a leading merchant of the town, 
a man of wealth, member of the House of Commons from Salisbury (1779, 
1789, 1790), and member for Rowan County in the State Convention of 
1 789, which ratified the Constitution of the United States. Lord Cornwallis 
used his house as headquarters in 1781. "His life," says General John 
Steele, "was a continued series of virtuous and charitable actions." He 
died in 1809. 

John Steele, son of William and Elizabeth (Maxwell) Steele, was born in 
Salisbury, November 16, 1764; studied under the famous divine, Dr. James 
Hall, graduate of Nassau Hall, at " Clio's Nursery." As a lad he served in 
the Continental Army. After the Revolution he became a merchant and 
planter; prominent in local affairs, represented the Borough of Salisbury in 
the State Conventions of 1788 and 1789; member of Congress, 1789-93; 
Comptroller of the United States Treasury (1 796-1 802) under Washington, 
Adams, and Jefferson. He was offered by Adams the post of Secretary of 










- OF UJjuuiS 

Salisbury and Salem 

In reply, the President followed the formula which lie 
used for most occasions — advocacy of the good policy 

the Treasury, which he declined; Commissioner to treat with Indians, 1798; 
Commissioner on North Carolina-South Carolina boundary line (1805-08; 
1 812—13); Commissioner on North Carolina-Georgia boundary line (1807); 
member of the North Carolina Legislature 1806, 181 1-13, of which he was 
sometime Speaker; elected for another term on August 14, 181 5, the day of 
his death. He was married to Mary Nesfield, February 9, 1783. 

Montfort Stokes, the son of David and Sarah (Montfort) Stokes, was 
said to descend from Simon de Montfort. He became a seaman, and even- 
tually served in the United States Navy under Commodore Decatur. Cap- 
tured during the War of 1812, he experienced intense sufferings aboard a 
prison ship. For many years he lived at Salisbury, where he was clerk of 
the Superior Court. He was chosen principal clerk of the State Senate; and 
later declined the post of United States Senator, to which office he had been 
elected. Elected in 181 5, he served in the United States Senate from 
December 4, 1816, until March 3, 1823; member of the State Senate in 
1 826, State House of Representatives in 1 829-30; Governor of North Caro- 
lina (1830-31), resigning that office to accept from his old friend, Andrew 
Jackson, the position of Indian Agent in Arkansas. He superintended the 
removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi River and continued to re- 
side in Arkansas until his death. 

Charles Harris, son of Charles Harris and Elizabeth Baker, was a noted 
physician of his day. The Harris family, originally of Wiltshire, England, 
emigrated to America from Ayrshire, Scotland, whither they had removed 
from Wiltshire, in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The elder 
Charles Harris settled about 1751 at Rocky River in Anson, afterwards Ca- 
barrus, County. His son, Dr. Charles Harris, resided at " Favoni " in Cabar- 
rus County, part of the original Harris estate. It was here that Dr. Charles 
Harris conducted what was probably the first medical school in North Car- 
olina. His brother Samuel was a graduate of Princeton (tutor 1788-89), as 
was also his nephew, Charles Wilson Harris, who was one of the faculty of 
the University of North Carolina in its opening years. Dr. Charles Harris 
was twice married — first to Sara Harris, second to Lydia Houston Bre- 
vard. Although not a resident of Salisbury, he signed the address to Wash- 
ington, as a leading man of that section, who was often in Salisbury at the 
home of his nephew, Robert Harris. Another strong reason for his being a 
signatory to this address is that his own half-brother, Major Thomas Har- 
ris, a valiant officer of the Continental Army, had fought under Washington 
himself at Monmouth and Trenton. Consult "The Harris Letters," edited 
by Professor H. M. Wagstaff {James Sprunt Historical Publications, vol. 
xiv, no. 1), University of North Carolina; and Dr. K. P. Battle: History of 
the University of North Carolina. 

Lewis Beard, son of John Lewis Beard, one of the first settlers of Salis- 


Washington* *s Southern Tour 

of supporting the Federal Government and passing wise 



Your expressions of satisfaction on my arrival in Salisbury, 
are received with pleasure, and thanked with sincerity. The 
interest which you are pleased to take in my personal welfare, 
excites a sensibility proportioned to your goodness. While I 
make the most grateful acknowledgement for that goodness, 
allow me to observe that your own determination, co-operat- 
ing with that of your fellow-citizens throughout the union, 
to maintain and perpetuate the federal government, affords 
a better assurance of order and effective government, with 
their concomitants private and public prosperity, than the 
best meant endeavors of any individual could give. Our na- 
tional glory, and our domestic tranquility, can never be tar- 
nished or disturbed, while they are guarded by wise laws 
founded in public virtue. Among the measures which an en- 
lightened and patriotic legislature will pursue to preserve 
them, I doubt not the means of diffusing useful information 
will be duly considered. My best wishes for the prosperity of 
your village, and for your individual happiness are sincerely 

After these ceremonies were concluded, the gentlemen 
of the town conducted the President to Hughes's Hotel, 1 
where an elegant dinner was served. "On his way to 
dinner he passed through great crowds of people who had 
collected for the purpose of seeing their illustrious and 

bury, was a leading citizen of Salisbury. At the cost of thirty thousand dol- 
lars he erected a magnificent bridge over the Yadkin. His estate on the 
Yadkin was known in after years as the "Bridge Place." He represented 
the Borough of Salisbury in the House of Commons (1791, 1792), and the 
County of Rowan in the State Senate in 1793. He married Susan, the 
daughter of one of Salisbury's first settlers, a prominent attorney, John 
Dunn, Esq. 

1 This house, which was to the east of the public square and nearly oppo- 
site the entrance of Meroney's Hall, was standing in 1881. 


Salisbury and Salem 

revered Chief Magistrate. He bowed respectfully to the 
people and passing the artillery company he was again 
saluted with a discharge of the pieces, followed by three 
cheers — 'Long live the President! Long live the Presi- 
dent! Long live the President!'" As the President 
passed through the public square, a worthy old citizen, 
Richard Walton, an emigrant from Great Britain who had 
met King George, approached the President and, seizing 
his hand, earnestly exclaimed: "I have shaken hands with 
one king and you are the second" — which reveals the 
pitch of adulation to which Washington had been elevated 
in the public consciousness. 

At dinner it is recorded that the President was "chear- 
ful" and that he "appeared highly pleased with the ap- 
pearance of the upper country." In his diary he records: 
"The lands between Charlotte & Salisbury are very 
fine, of a reddish cast and well timbered, with but very 
little underwood — Between these two places are the 
first meadows I have seen on the Road since I left 
Virga. & here also we appear to be getting into a Wheat 

After dinner fifteen toasts were given — a discharge of 
artillery accompanying every toast : 

i. The Government of the United States. 

i. The Governor and State of North Carolina. (By the 

3. The constitutional liberty of the people. 

4. The committee of Congress who reported the declara- 
tion of Independence. 

5. May Congress take effectual measures to disseminate 
political knowledge. 


Washington^* Southern Tour 

6. May Congress take early and effectual measures to dis- 
seminate political knowledge. 

7. May harmony subsist between federal and state govern- 

8. The agriculture, manufactures and commerce of the 
United States. 

9. The European powers in alliance with the United States. 

10. May the French revolution terminate favorably to lib- 

11. May the services of General Greene be remembered 
with gratitude by the people of the southern states. 

12. May reason, and not the sword, terminate all national 

13. May the officers in every department have a sacred re- 
gard to national justice. 

14. The friends of religion, morality, and useful knowledge. 
(Here the President retired — and the next toast was) 

15. George Washington — Long may he live. 

It was said that the whole was "conducted with de- 
corum; and festivity and joy were seen on every face." 
At the banquet, many Colonial and Revolutionary inci- 
dents were narrated by the gentlemen of the town, led by 
that attractive Irishman, Albert Torrence, 1 who kept the 
famous tavern on the Yadkin which the British denomi- 
nated "Tarrant's." 

We may be sure that Washington was made aware of 
Salisbury's pride in the great explorer and Indian fighter, 
Daniel Boone, whom the organization known as Richard 

1 Albert Torrence, born 17^2, was of Irish birth. He settled in Rowan 
County shortly before the Revolution, building a home on the heights, later 
known as "The Heights of Gowerie," overlooking the Yadkin River, on the 
opposite side of which was the historic "Jersey Settlement." It was from 
this height that Cornwallis cannonaded the forces of General Nathanael 
Greene in the latter's retreat through North Carolina in 1781. The Tor- 
rence home was a centre of culture and refinement. Albert Torrence died 
in 1825. 






























































Salisbury and Salem 

Henderson and Company had despatched on a great tour 
of exploration through Kentucky in 1769. The occupa- 
tion of the town in succession by Lord Cornwallis and 
General Greene was no doubt vividly described to Wash- 
ington, in particular the incident of Greene in utter dejec- 
tion arriving at Steel's Tavern in February, 178 1, and Mrs. 
Steel's impulsive gift to him of her savings for years, two 
small bags of specie. The President was given the op- 
portunity to visit Steel's Tavern, only a few steps from 
Hughes's Hotel, and to see the picture of George III, 
on the back of which Greene, in his delight over Mrs. 
Steel's gift, wrote with a coal taken from the fireplace: 
"O George! Hide Thy Face and Mourn." And doubtless 
the President participated heartily in the applause which 
greeted the toast; "May the services of General Greene be 
remembered with gratitude by the people of the Southern 
States!" x 
During the afternoon Washington drank tea at Hughes's 

1 The pictures of King George and Queen Charlotte, the back of the 
former bearing the defiant challenge of Greene, are still preserved, and are 
herewith reproduced. They are beautiful colored prints, and were brought 
to Mrs. Steel from England by her brother, Dr. Maxwell, long before the 
Revolution. Mrs. Steel, the mother of General John Steele (who added the 
final letter), died shortly after Washington's arrival. General Steele had the 
greatest affection for Washington, but he loved his wife, who was a Miss 
Mary Nesfield, even more. On one occasion (January 31, 1793), he wrote 
her from Philadelphia: "I dined to-day at the President's in a very large 
company of ladies and gentlemen . . . Without you, I feel like Captain 
O'Blunder ' Alone in the throng' . . . The President to-day asked me to 
drink a glass of wine with him. This is considered here a great honor, it 
may be so; but I would have been more gratified in drinking a glass with my 
own dear Polly." In connection with General Greene's visit to Salisbury 
consult Archibald Henderson: "Elizabeth Maxwell Steel," in North Caro- 
lina Booklet, vol. xii, no. 2 (1912). 


Washington* s Southern Tour 

Hotel with about twenty ladies who had been assem- 
bled for the occasion; Mrs. Steele, Mrs. McCorkle, Mrs. 
Macay, Mrs. Torrence, Mrs. Chambers, Miss Elizabeth 
Henderson, Miss Sally Alexander, Miss Mary Faust, Mrs. 
Lewis Beard, Mrs. Giles, Mrs. Kelly, and others whom 
tradition has ignored. After this "interesting ceremony," 
as Washington would call it, he returned to Yarborough's 
Hotel ; but the people besieged the place and clamored for 
another sight of the President, for a speech. Washing- 
ton came forth in response to the clamors of the excited 
throng; and, standing upon the steps of Yarborough's 
Hotel in the light of the setting sun and shading his face 
from its rays with his handkerchief, he said with eloquent 
and touching simplicity: "You see before you only an old 
gray-haired man." 

A reliable historian states: "That night there was a 
grand ball given to the President at Hughes's Hotel at- 
tended by the prominent gentlemen and ladies of Salis- 
bury. . . . How far the 'Father of his Country' partici- 
pated in the amusements and festivities of the occasion, 
tradition saith not." 1 We do know that the town was il- 

1 Rev. Jethro Rumple, in History of Rowan County. He adds: "There is 
still in the county a relic of this ball — a brown satin dress, worn by Mrs. 
Lewis Beard — the daughter of John Dunn, Jr. It is in the possession of 
Mrs. Mary Locke, granddaughter of Col. Moses A. Locke, and great grand- 
daughter of the lady who wore it." The Reverend A. W. Mangum, who 
collected his materials long before Rumple studied the question, makes no 
mention of a ball, in a manuscript account of Washington's visit to Salis- 
bury, preserved in the archives of the University of North Carolina. No 
mention of it is made in the full contemporary account of the doings of 
the day, sent to Mr. Fenno, editor of the Gazette of the United States, with a 
note bearing the initials " A. T.," which probably identifies the writer as Al- 
bert Torrence. No doubt at Salisbury, as afterwards at Georgetown and 


Salisbury and Salem 

luminated, that night, with a "real North Carolina efful- 
gence" — with lamps, doubtless of a primitive style, and 
burning tar-barrels, which gave the effect of a Dantean 
Hades. And to add to the illusion, the pieces of artillery 
on the square continued at intervals to roar their salutes of 
belching smoke and flame. What excitement! What a 
day for this loyal historical town! To think that the lit- 
eral minded Washington, in speaking of place and people, 
could say in his diary only this — which was all quite true: 
"Salisbury is but a small place altho' it is the County 
town, and the district Court is held in it ; — nor does it ap- 
pear to be much on the increase, — there is about three 
hundred souls in it and tradesmen of different kinds." At 
least we know that the day Washington reached Salisbury 
he "foundered another of his (my) horses" — an important 
historical incident which is herewith conscientiously re- 
corded. There is balm for Salisburians in the record of the 
Reverend A. W. Mangum, who thus concludes his manu- 
script account of Washington's visit: "The people of Salis- 
bury of every class were impressed with the plainness of 
his apparel and his affable manners. He was dressed in 
plain homespun and was courteous and pleasant to all. 
He expressed himself more pleased with the plain, frank, 
earnest welcome of Salisbury than the gaudy and fantas- 
tic reception at Charleston." l 

elsewhere on the trip, there was dancing — called a " ball " — following the 
"Tea Party." In "The Harris Letters" (Sprunt Historical Publications, 
vol. xiv, no. i, University of North Carolina), Professor H. M. Wagstaft 
states that a ball was given at Albert Torrence's in honor of Washington. 

1 A poem, "Salisbury Town," by Charles Benton Canady, contains this 


Washington's Southern Tour 

The next morning Washington set off at four o'clock, 
being escorted as far as the Yadkin River by the gentle- 
men who dined with him and the company of cavalry. 
At Long's Ferry he made a short address to the military 
company, under the command of Captain John Beard, 
and "took leave of the other gentlemen in the most polite 
and affectionate manner." Washington's account in his 
diary for Tuesday, May 31st, is as follows: 

Left Salisbury about 4 o'clock; at 5 miles crossed the Yad- 
kin, the principal stream of the Peedee, and breakfasted on 
the No. Bank, (while my Carriages & horses were crossing) 
at a Mr. Young's fed my horses 10 miles farther, at one Reeds 
— and about 3 o'clock (after another halt) arrived at Salem, 
one of the Moravian towns 20 miles farther — In all 35 from 

The road between Salisbury & Salem passes over very little 
good land, and much that is different [indifferent?]; being a 
good deal mixed with Pine, but not sand. 

Salem is a small but neat village; & like all the rest of the 
Moravian settlements, is governed by an excellent police — 
having within itself all kinds of artizans — The number of 
Souls does not exceed 200. * 

If from less spacious scenes we glance 
At those adventurous days now gone, 
Their hardships, brightened with romance 
Hallow the soil we stand upon. 
Here Boone released his restless soul 
To hew a pathway to the west, 
Cornwallis here, with Greene his goal, 
Spurred northward in his eager quest, 
And Jackson, merry Andrew then 
Read here his Blackstone and his Coke, 
And Washington, our chief of men 
Came down to greet the Southern folk. 

1 In this same year William Loughton Smith, Senator from South Caro- 
lina, visited Salem, and makes the following entry in his diary: "Between 
200 and 300 persons of this Sect here assembled live in brotherly love and 


w *%£ j.^/f^cAuc/^7 ^S/JLt ^^<5e ^-<&/$/fe<sZjf 

~fe*e,££d*?t. £&-, 


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/£&?%/- <^jZ£-frW, t&Ln^ S^snc/ ^i £*tx*&c, 7v .sZ^x^lS^c^. 


Of Hit 

Salisbury and Salem 

Washington's choice of Salem as one of the points on 
his route may have been dictated by the condition of the 
roads. But doubtless Washington desired to indicate his 
friendliness — the attitude of parental benevolence suited 
to a father of his country — toward a people who had 
proven by their deeds the sincerity of their neutrality, and 
their extraordinary ability to live in peace and amity with 
their neighbors, red as well as white. The Moravians were 
highly gratified to have the President visit their settle- 
ment ; and showed him the utmost hospitality. Albert Tor- 
rence says that Washington was "received at the bridge 
by the people of the place, and conducted into town with 
a complete band of music playing before him. On his ar- 
rival the bells rung, and the church organ played almost 
the whole of the night." An interesting description of the 
doings of this day as contained in the "Salem Diary" for 
1 79 1, is as follows: 

set a laudable example of industry. . . . Every man follows some occupa- 
tion; every woman is engaged in some feminine work; a tanner, shoemaker, 
potter, saddler, tinner, brewer, distiller, etc. is here seen at work; from their 
labors they not only supply themselves but the country all around them. 
The first view of the town is romantic, just as it breaks upon you through 
the woods; it is pleasantly seated on a rising ground and is surrounded by 
beautiful meadows, well-cultivated fields, and shady woods. The antique 
appearance of the houses, built in the German style, and the trees among 
which they are placed have a singular and pleasing effect; the whole re- 
sembles a beautiful village, and forms a pastoral scene. . . . Mr. Bagge, one 
of the brethren and a respectable old gentleman, who keeps a store here . . . 
very politely conducted me to the single men's house, and to all the differ- 
ent trades. I found every one hard at work; such a scene of industry, per- 
haps, exists no where in so small a place. The brewery and distillery are 
considerable; the beer is very good, and a cordial made out of the whiskey 
excellent. Water brought from the adjacent rivulets is collected in large 
pipes and conveyed to all the houses. . . ." Cf. Journal of William Lough- 
ton Smith. Jjgo-ijgi. Edited by Albert Matthews. (Cambridge: The 


Washingtojfs Southern Tour 

May 31. At the end of this month the congregation of Sa- 
lem had the pleasure of welcoming the President of the United 
States, George Washington, on his return journey from the 
southern states. We had already heard that he would return 
to Virginia by way of our town. This afternoon we heard that 
this morning he left Salisbury, 35 miles from here, so the Brn. 
Marshall, Koehler, and Benzien rode out a bit to meet him, 
and as he approached the town several melodies were played, 
partly by trumpets and french horns, partly by trombones. 
He was accompanied only by his secretary, Major Jackson, 
and the necessary servants. On alighting from the carriage 
he greeted the by-standers in friendly fashion, and was par- 
ticularly pleasant to the children gathered there. Then he 
conversed on various subjects with the Brethren who con- 
ducted him to the room prepared for him. At first he said 
that he must go on the next morning, but when he learned 
that the Governor of our State would like to meet him here 
the following day he said he would rest here one day. He told 
our musicians that he would enjoy some music with his eve- 
ning meal, and was served with it. 1 

The inn where Washington was entertained as the guest 
of the community is still standing — known to-day as the 
Old Salem Hotel. 2 

University Press.) From the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical So- 
ciety, October, 191 7. 

1 The original diary is in German; this translation has been courteously 
supplied me by Miss Adelaide L. Fries, Secretary of the Wachovia Histori- 
cal Society, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Frederick William Marshall 
was prominent in the founding of Salem. Bishop John Daniel Koehler was 
the pastor for Salem. The Reverend Christian Louis Benzien was one of 
the leading men of the community for years before and after Washington's 
visit. For details of the settlement, consult History of Wachovia in North 
Carolina, by J. H. Clewell (New York, 1902). The "Records of the Mora- 
vians of North Carolina," under the editorship of Miss Fries, are now being 
published by the North Carolina Historical Commission. 

2 The Salem Tavern, as it was called in the olden time, stands on the 
west side of Main Street, between West Street and Washington Avenue. 
When the present owners, a group of Moravian men, purchased the build- 
ing, they took a frame section to the north about as large as the brick por- 


Salisbury and Salem 

The President of Salem Academy and College, boosting 
the building of great hotels and lamenting the general 
lack of progress, recently remarked at a banquet that, on 
visiting the room in Salem in which Washington slept, he 
was reverently told that it hadn't been touched since 1791. 
This, aside: — "And it looked it!" 

At this time the Governor of North Carolina was Alex- 
ander Martin, graduate of the College of New Jersey, who 
had removed from New Jersey to North Carolina about 
1760. Martin had served during the Revolution under 

tion. The part, built of brick, is the original historical building. Upon its 
walls is a tablet, placed there by the Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion, bearing the following inscription: "The Old Salem Tavern. Site se- 
lected 1768. First Building burned January 31st, 1784. Present Building 
erected 1784. President Washington entertained May 31st, 1791." 

1 Alexander Martin, born at Lebanon, New Jersey, about 1738, was the 
son of Hugh and Jane Martin. Hugh Martin emigrated from County 
Tyrone, Ireland, in 1721 and settled in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. 
Alexander Martin was graduated from Nassau Hall, September 29, 1756. 
He settled in Rowan County, North Carolina, about 1760; and after 
studying law, was active in its practice, often presiding over the District 
Court at Salisbury. In 1772 he removed to Guilford Court House. Mem- 
ber of the Colonial Assembly from Guilford County, 1 774-1 775. Appointed 
Lieutenant-Colonel of Second North Carolina Regiment, Continental 
Line, September 1, 1775; and promoted to colonelcy of same regiment, 
April 10, 1776, which he held until November 2, 1777, when he resigned. 
Participated in the Battle of Brandywine, September 11, 1775, and the 
Battle of Germantown, October 4, 1779. State Senator from Guilford 
County, 1778-1782, 1785, 1787-88; Speaker of the Senate, 1780, 1781, 
1782. Acting-Governor of North Carolina, 1781-82; Governor, 1782-85, 
1789-92. Chairman North Carolina Board of War, 1780-81. Elected to 
Congress from North Carolina, December 17, 1786; and on January 7, 
1787, as delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. 
Elected to the United States Senate, serving from March 4, 1793, to March 
3, 1799. Removed to his plantation "Danbury" in Rockingham County, 
1789. President Board of Trustees, University of North Carolina, 1792-93. 
Received degree of LL.D. from the College of New Jersey in 1793. Mem- 
ber State Senate from Rockingham County, 1804, 1805. Died at "Dan- 
bury," November 2, 1807. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Washington, who presented to him a pair of silver cups at 
the time of his retirement from the service. During Wash- 
ington's entire second term, Martin was Senator from 
North Carolina. He was a delegate from North Carolina 
to the Federal Convention at Philadelphia to frame the 
Constitution of the United States. A Federalist of the 
Washington type, he was capable, energetic, and concilia- 
tory — winning popular favor to such an extent that he 
was six times Governor of North Carolina. He had a fine 
plantation on the Dan River in Rockingham County; and 
also a home at Martinsville (Guilford), where he enter- 
tained Washington on June 2d and 3d. 

As illustrative of the attachment to Washington of 
Governor Martin and of the people of North Carolina, the 
following incident deserves record. On June 26, 1790, 
Governor Alexander Martin and the Council of State of 
North Carolina, in session at the Rockingham Springs, 
drew up the following letter which was transmitted to 
George Washington : 

To the President of the United States. 

The governor and council of the State of North-Carolina 
embrace the earliest opportunity afforded them since the ac- 
cession of this state to the constitution, and the completion of 
the union by all the states, of congratulating you upon this 
most auspicious event, by which all causes of future dissen- 
tion among the states will be obviated — the impost, that 
great branch of revenue and support of public credit, collected 
with more facility, and our finances more properly ar- 

We congratulate ourselves with equal sincerity on behold- 
ing you, sir, in the highest departments cvhich your virtues 







Salisbury and Salem 

merited, and to which your country unanimously and grate- 
fully appointed you. 

The importance of your situation receives additional dig- 
nity by the veneration your country possesses for your char- 
acter, and from a confidence that every power vested in you 
by the constitution, will be exerted for the happiness and 
prosperity of your country, by giving efficacy to such a sys- 
tem as will ensure and conciliate the public mind — a confi- 
dence felt by all — by none more powerfully than the citizens 
of this state. 

We have just received the happy information of your re- 
covery from a disorder which threatened your life; a life we 
may truly say as necessary as dear to us. With grateful 
hearts we return thanks to the great disposer of events for 
this beneficent mark of his attention in preserving you. May 
it long be shewn in continuing you among us, and when the 
awful day comes which is to separate you from us, may you 
receive the reward of those virtues which he only can bestow. 

Alexander Martin. 
Wyatt Hawkins, President. 

Done in council unanimously, at the Rockingham Springs, June 26, 1790. 

By order 
Thomas Henderson, C. C. 

To the above the President returned the following 

To the Governor and Council of the state of North- 

I entreat you to be persuaded that nothing could have been 
more agreeable to me, than the proofs contained in your af- 
fectionate address of the friendly sentiments entertained by 
you for my person, as well as for the government which I have 
been appointed by my countrymen to administer. And I re- 
ciprocate, with heartfelt satisfaction, your congratulations on 
the completion of the union of all the states; an event, in my 
judgment, pregnant with more salutary consequences, than 
can easily be expressed or conceived 


Washington's Southern Tour 

It will ever be my first wish and most strenuous endeavour, 
to justify, so far as may be in my power, the confidence which 
my fellow-citizens have thought proper to repose in me, by 
exerting every power vested in the President of the United 
States by the constitution, for the happiness and prosperity 
of our country; and by giving efficacy to such a system as will 
ensure the general welfare, and conciliate the public mind. 

I desire, gentlemen, to make acceptable to you my ac- 
knowledgments for the kind concern you take in the restora- 
tion of my health and preservation of my life; and in the 
retribution I may receive after the conclusion of this mortal 
existence. May you, and the state in whose government you 
have the principal agency, be also the peculiar care of divine 

G. Washington 

United States, August 26, 1790. 

The following is the entry in Washington's diary, under 
June 1st: 

Having received information that Governor Martin was on 
his way to meet me; and would be at Salem this evening, I re- 
solved to await his arrival at this place instead of halting a 
day at Guilford as I had intended; 

Spent the forenoon in visiting the Shops of the different 
Tradesmen. The houses of accomodation for the single men 
& Sisters of the Fraternity — & their place of worship. — 
Invited six of their principal people to dine with me — and in 
the evening went to hear them sing, & perform on a variety of 
instruments Church music. 

In the Afternoon Governor Martin as was expected (with 
his Secretary) arrived. 

The Moravians in North Carolina have always been 
famous for their love of music, and for their communal 
cultivation of it both vocally and instrumentally. In their 
Moravian Museum at Salem is still preserved an ancient 
tune book which contains the music of a tune much the 


Salisbury and Salem 

same as "My Country, 'tis of thee," which is entitled 
"God Save Great Washington." This tune was doubtless 
played by the trombonists who went to greet Washington 
upon his arrival — and perhaps again later, during his 
evening meal. In the same Museum is shown the old 
spinet upon which a young lady played for Washington's 
delectation. At the conclusion of her recital, she naturally 
expected that the great man, who had been standing near 
by, would compliment her upon her skill as an execu- 
tant and upon her sympathetic touch. Her heart was all 
a-flutter as he drew near; but we must endeavor to imagine 
her disappointment and vexation when Washington, who 
had noted a wart on her hand, gave her a formula for tak- 
ing it off. // ne manquait que cal 

An account of the events of the day, much more inter- 
esting and graphic than Washington's, is found in the 
"Salem Diary," here set down in full: 

June i, the President and Major Jackson, accompanied by 
several Brethren, took a look at the workshops, Choir Houses, 
and other institutions of our town, and he expressed his 
pleasure with various things especially the water-works and 
its use. As a testimony of the loyal attitude of the Brethren 
in Wachovia toward the Government of these states an ad- 
dress was prepared, and the President set a time for its pres- 
entation. Therefore at two o'clock several Brethren brought 
it, and after Dr. Marshall had read it, according to custom, 
and had presented it, the President, in the same manner, pre- 
sented his answer, couched in favorable terms, both papers 
being inserted in this Diary. Six Brethren were then invited 
to dine with him, and during the meal there was again music. 
Many people came from the neighborhood and from our other 
congregations to see the President, he being such a prominent 


TVashingtoJi's Southern Tour 

figure in this land, and gladly gave them an opportunity to 
fulfil their desire. Toward evening the Governor of this State, 
Mr. Alexander Martin, arrived from his plantation some forty 
miles from here on Dan River. He, the President, and Major 
Jackson attended a song service that evening, the singing 
being interspersed with instrumental selections, and they ex- 
pressed their pleasure in it. At the close of the day the wind 
instruments were heard sweetly beside the Tavern. During 
the day Major Jackson inquired concerning the principles of 
our congregation, and was much pleased at being presented 
with a copy of the Brethren's History, and of the Idea Fidei 
Fratrum. 1 

June 2, at four o'clock in the morning the entire company 
departed, the Brn. Marshall and Benzein accompanying 
them across the boundaries of Wachovia. 

The address mentioned in this account breathes a spirit 
of great piety, voices sincere appreciation of the Presi- 
dent's courtesy in visiting the Moravian Town, as it was 
commonly called, and avows a truly patriotic allegiance to 
the United States. The President's reply, with entire fit- 
ness, gives approval to the fundamental principles of good 
citizenship which characterize the Moravian Brotherhood. 
The address and reply, which are recorded in the "Salem 
Diary," are reproduced below in full: 

To the President of the United States: 

Happy in sharing the honor of a visit from the illustrious 
President of the Union to the Southern States, the Brethren 
of Wachovia humbly beg leave, upon this joyful occasion, to 
express their highest esteem, duty, and affection for the great 
patriot of this country. 

Deeply impressed as we are with gratitude to the great au- 

1 According to information supplied me by Miss Adelaide L. Fries, Cura- 
tor of the Wachovia Historical Society, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 
the "Brethren's History" was doubtless the work of Cranz (Barby, 1771, 
first edition, 2000 copies; second edition, 1772). The copy presented to 




Salisbury and Salem 

thor of our being for his unbounded mercies, we cannot but 
particularly acknowledge his gracious providence over the 

Major Jackson was probably Latrobe's English translation, — the title- 
page reading as follows: 


Ancient and Modern 


of the 



A Succinct Narrative 

of the 

Protestant Church 

of the 
United Brethren, 

Unitas Fratrum, 

In the remoter Ages, and particularly in the present Century: 

written in German 

By David Cranz, 

Author of the History of Greenland; 

Now translated into English, with Emendations; 

and published, with some additional Notes, 

By Benjamin La Trobe. 

I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. 

Ps. lxxvii, 5. 


Printed by W. and A. Strahan; 

And sold by J. Robson, in Bond Street; T. Cadell, in the Strand; 

C. Dilly in the Poultry; and at the Settlements and 

Chapels of the Congregations of the Brethren. 


The Idea Fidei Fratrum was written by Bishop August Gottlieb Span- 
genberg, and printed (1779) at Barby, Saxony, in the Printing Office of the 
Unity. In 1796 it was translated into English by Benjamin La Trobe, un- 
der the title An Exposition of Christian Doctrine, as taught in the Protestant 
Church of the United Brethren, or Unitas Fratrum. This work was also trans- 
lated and published in Danish, Swedish, Dutch, and French. 


Washington's Southern Tour 

temporal and political prosperity of the country, in the peace, 
and wherein none can take a warmer interest than ourselves, 
in particular when we consider that the same Lord who pre- 
served your precious person in so many ways has made you in 
a conspicuous manner an instrument in his hands to forward 
that happy constitution, together with these improvements 
whereby our United States begin to flourish, over which you 
preside with the applause of a thankful nation. 

Whenever, therefore, we solicit the protection of the Father 
of Mercies over this favored country, we cannot but fer- 
vently implore his kindness for your preservation, which is so 
intimately connected therewith. 

May this gracious Lord vouchsafe to prolong your valuable 
life as a further blessing, and an ornament of the constitution, 
that by your worthy example the regard for religion be in- 
creased, and the improvements of civil society encouraged. 

The settlements of the United Brethren, though small, will 
always make it their study to contribute as much as in them 
lies to the peace and improvement of the United States, 
and all the particular parts they live in, joining their ardent 
prayers to the best wishes of this whole continent that your 
personal as well as domestic happiness may abound, and a 
series of successes may crown your labours for the prosperity 
of our times and an example to future ages, until the glorious 
reward of a faithful servant shall be your portion. 

Signed, in behalf of the United Brethren in Wachovia, 
Frederick William Marshall, 
John Daniel Koehler, 
Christian Lewis Benzien. 

Salem, the ist of June, 1791. 

The President was pleased to return the following 

To the United Brethren of Wachovia: 

I am greatly indebted to your respectable and affectionate 
expression of personal regard, and I am not less obliged by 
the patriotic sentiment contained in your address. 


Salisbury and Salem 

From a society whose governing principles are industry and 
love of order, much may be expected toward the improvement 
and prosperity of the country in which their settlements are 
formed, and experience authorizes the belief that much will 
be obtained. 

Thanking you with grateful sincerity for your prayers in 
my behalf, I desire to assure you of my best wishes for your 
social and individual happiness. 

G. Washington. 

A word from the young Charles Caldwell, who seemed 
to glory in the role of guide to the President — apparently 
since it gave him such an unrivalled opportunity to dis- 
play his own knowledge — will present some of the events 
of these days, as viewed from the peculiar angle of that 
very self-conscious young man : 

During Washington's stay in Salisbury, I was much around 
his person, in the capacity of junior master of ceremony, and 
when the General left Salisbury, on his way to the north, I 
again, at the head of a new and larger escort, attended him to 
Guildford Courthouse, the celebrated battle-ground of Greene 
and Cornwallis, a distance, as well as I now remember, of 
about sixty miles. Having there conducted him over the field 
of action of the two armies, according to the best information 
I could collect respecting its localities and limits, we returned 
to the Court-house, where, conformably to my orders, I reluc- 
tantly took leave of him - — he, to proceed on his journey to 
the then seat of government, and I to retrace my route to the 
South. Nor, highly flattered as I had been by his notice of me, 
and even by occasional marks of his apparent partiality to- 
ward me, and sincerely attached as I had become to his per- 
son, was the act of leave-taking, on my part, without much 
more emotion than I believed I should experience. 

Having paid to him, at the head of my little squadron, the 
farewell ceremony, in military style, and being about to issue 
the command to move forward, Washington beckoned me to 
approach him. Having eagerly advanced to within a suitable 


Washington'* s Southern Tour 

distance, he bowed in his saddle, and extended to me his hand. 
That act, accompanied, as I fancied it to be, by an appear- 
ance, in his countenance, of marks of feeling, again com- 
pletely unmanned and silenced me. As, on first meeting him, 
I was able to greet him only with my sword, I could now bid 
him a personal farewell in no other way than by the pressure 
of his hand; and, observing my emotion, my eyes once more 
swimming in tears, he returned the pressure, and addressed 
to me a few words, thanking me courteously for my devoted 
attention, and what he was pleased to call my numerous serv- 
ices to him, and hoping to see me during the prosecution of 
my studies in Philadelphia, to which place I had apprised him 
of my intention to repair, he again pressed my hand, and was 
forthwith in motion. 

For a moment, I fancied my behavior to have been so un- 
soldier-like, that I almost hesitated to assume my station at 
the head of my escort; but, casting a look toward it, as it 
stood motionless in column, I perceived several of its mem- 
bers, some years older than myself, and noted for their firm- 
ness, wiping the moisture from their eyes, as I had just done 
from mine, and that sight did much to reconcile me to myself. 
It convinced me that the scene I had just passed through 
had been a moving one; and that, when affection is awakened, 
it is not unmanly for even a soldier to weep. I therefore re- 
placed myself at their head, and led my comrades back to 
Salisbury. 1 

Washington gives the following account of the events of 

Thursday, 2d: 

In company with the Gov r I set out by 4 Oclock for Guil- 
ford — Breakfasted at one Dobsons at the distance of eleven 
Miles from Salem and dined at Guilford 16 Miles further, 
where there was a considerable gathering of people who had 

1 There seems to be some discrepancy between Caldwell's account and 
the events as recorded contemporaneously. The military escort from Salis- 
bury left Washington at Long's Ferry, on May 31st, and returned to Salis- 
bury, presumably accompanied by young Caldwell. Caldwell perhaps 
headed, or at least was one of, the party of light horse which met Wash- 
ington near Guilford on June 2d. 






Salisbury and Salem 

received notice of my intention to be there to day & came to 
satisfy their curiosity. 1 

On my way I examined the ground on which the Action be- 
tween General Greene and Lord Cornwallis commenced — ■ 
and after dinner rode over that where their lines were formed 
and the scene closed in the retreat of the American forces — 
The first line of which was advantageously drawn up, and had 
the Troops done their duty properly, the British must have 
been sorely galded in y r advance, if not defeated. — 

The lands between Salem and Guilford are, in places, very 
fine; but upon the whole can not be called more than middling 
— some being very bad. — 

On my approach to this place (Guilford) I was met by a 
party of light horse which I prevailed on the Governor to dis- 
miss, and to countermand his orders for others to attend me 
through the State. 2 

An interesting side-light upon an important incident of 
the day is a description of a conversation with Washington 
which Thomas Jefferson records : 

In conversation with the President to-day, and speaking 
about General Greene, he said that he and General Greene 
had always differed in opinion about the manner of using Mi- 
litia. Greene always placed them in his front: himself was of 
opinion, they should always be used as a reserve to improve 

1 On the way, it seems, about eleven o'clock in the morning, Washington 
stopped for a drink of water at the home of Levi Buckingham, who lived 
about a mile northeast of Colfax Station, between Friendship and Kerners- 
ville, in Guilford County. Trivial as the incident is, it means something to 
the neighborhood; and the spring from which he drank is still pointed out. 
Little Sarah Buckingham (afterward Mrs. Jessup), then about nine years 
old, went down to the spring with her father; and often afterwards spoke 
particularly of Washington's firm tread and of his manifest enjoyment of 
simple country life. For this information I am indebted to Mr. John T. 
Brittain, of Asheboro, North Carolina. 

2 We are reminded here of William Blount's jocular remark in the letter 
to J. G. Blount, ante: "I have given this to Gov. Martin so that you 
may shortly expect to hear of pompous orders for equiping and training the 


Washington* 's Southern Tour 

any advantage, for which purpose they were the finest fellows 
in the world. He said he was on the ground of the battle of 
Guilford, with a person who was in the action, and who ex- 
plained the whole of it to him. That General Greene's front 
was behind a fence at the edge of a large field, through which 
the enemy were obliged to pass to get at them; and that in 
their passage through this they must have been torn all to 
pieces, if troops had been posted there who would have stood 
their ground; and that the retreat from that position was 
through a thicket perfectly secure. Instead of this, he posted 
the North Carolina militia there, who only gave one fire and 
fell back, so that the whole benefit of their position was lost. 
He thinks that the regulars, with their field pieces, would 
have hardly let a single man get through that field. 1 

1 Anas, June 7, 1793. In his able work, "North Carolina, i78o-'8i," 
David Schenck shows by a wealth of evidence that " the North Carolina 
militia were, by the personal order of General Greene, directly instructed to 
fire twice, and assured that he required no more of them." Compare chap- 
ter vii of that work, pp. 293-387. 



The Return to Mount Vernon 
ROM the public standpoint, Washington's Southern 
tour was concluded at Guilford Court-House, North 
Carolina. The remainder of the trip is just — going 
home. Washington's diary for this period is valuable as 
containing general observations upon the country, the 
people, and the tour, and is here set down without com- 

Friday — 3? 

Took my leave of the Govern' whose intention was to have 
attended me to the line, but for my request that he would 
not; and about 4 Oclock proceeded on my journey. — Break- 
fasted at troublesome Ironworks (called 15, but which is at 
least, 17 Miles from Guilford partly in Rain and from my in- 
formation or for want of it was obliged to travel 1 1 Miles fur- 
ther than I intended today — to one Gatewoods within two 
miles of Dix' ferry over the Dan at least 30 Miles from the 
Ironworks. — The Lands over which I passed this day were 
of various qualities and as I approached the Dan, were a 
good deal covered with pine. — 

In conversing with the Governor on the State of Politics in 
N° Carolina I learnt with pleasure that opposition to the 
Gen 1 Government, & the discontent of the people were sub- 
siding fast — and that he should, so soon as he had received 
the Laws which he had written to the Secretary of State for, 
issue his proclamation requiring all Officers & Members of 
the Governm' to take the Oaths prescribed by Law. — He 
seems to condemn the Speculaters in Lands and the pur- 
chases from the State of Georgia, & thinks as every sensible & 


TV ashingtovi s Southern Tour 

disinterested man must that schemes of that sort must in- 
volve the Country in trouble — perhaps in blood 

Saturday 4'* 1 

Left M r . Gatewoods about half after Six oclock — and be- 
tween his house & the Ferry passed the line which divides the 
States of Virginia and N? Carolina & dining at one Wilsons 2 1 6 
Miles from the Ferry, lodged at Hallifax old Town . . — The 
Road from Dix' ferry to Wilson's, passes over very hilly (& 
for the most part) indifferent land, being a good deal mixed 
with pine though it is said here that pine when mixed with 
Oak, & more especially with hiccory is not indicative of a 
poor Soil. From Wilson's to Hallifax old town the Soil is good, 
& of a reddish cast. 

Having this day passed the line of N° Carolina and of 
course finished my tour thro' the three Southernmost states a 

1 The following interesting entries are found in the manuscript diary of 
Richard N. Venable, at the time practising law in Pittsylvania County, 
Virginia. He was own brother to Abraham B. Venable, who served in Con- 
gress from March 4, 1791, to March 3, 1799; served in the United States 
Senate from December 7, 1803, to June 7, 1804, when he resigned. He 
perished at the burning of the theatre in Richmond, Virginia, December 
26, 181 1. The entries in Richard N. Venable's manuscript diary (1791-92) 
which pertain to Washington follow below: 

Sat. 4 ( * June 1791. Peytonsburg, Pittsylvania County. Gen'l Washing- 
ton came in the evening — stayed at tavern — set out next morning before 
sunrise. . . . 

Monday # A . Charlotte Court (Charlotte County, Virginia). Great anx- 
iety in the people to see Gen'l Washington. Strange is the impulse which 
is felt by almost every breast to see the face of a great good man — sensa- 
tion better felt than expressed. In evening [I] came to Prince Edward C. H. 

Tuesday 7'.* June. Gen'l Washington arrived at Prince Edward Court 
House, all crowding the way where they expect him to pass, anxious to see 
the Saviour of their Country and object of their love. 

Mr. Venable was doubtless subject to the "strange impulse" of which he 
speaks, as he seems to have followed the President for several days. For 
these excerpts I am indebted to Mr. A. J. Morrison, Hampton Sidney, Vir- 

2 The name in the original manuscript may possibly be " Wisom." In 
his sketch, "Washington's Journey through North Carolina in 1791," 
Richard G. Walzer, Esq., Lexington, North Carolina, states that the per- 
son here referred to is Nathanael Wilson, his great-great-grandfather. 


Return to Mount Vernon 

general description of them may be comprised in the few fol- 
lowing words. — 

From the Seaboard to the falls of the Rivers which water 
the extensive region the lands, except the Swamps, on the 
Rivers, and the lesser streams which empty into them; & the 
interval lands higher up the Rivers is with but few excep- 
tions neither more nor less than a continued pine barren very 
thinly inhabited. — The part next the Seaboard, for many 
Miles, is a dead level badly watered. — That above it is hilly 
& not much better wat d but if possible less valuable on ac- 
count of its hilliness and because they are more inconvenient 
to Market supposing them as capable as the lands below of 
producing Beef, Porke, Tar, pitch, & turpentine. — The land 
above the falls of the several Rivers from information, and as 
far as my own observation has extended, is of a very supe- 
rior kind from these being of a greasy red, with large oaks, 
intermixed with hiccory Chesnut &c a p^SSig, Corn Tob? 
Wheat, Hemp & other articles in great abundance & are gen- 
erally thickly inhabited comparatively speaking with those 

In the lower Country (near the Seaboard) in the States of 
S° Carolina & Georgia, Rice, as far up as the low swamps ex- 
tend is almost the sole article that is raised for Market; — 
Some of the planters of which grow as much Corn, as, with 
the Sweet Potatoes, support their people; — The middle 
Country — that is between the Rice lands and the fall of the 
Rivers & a little above them, is cultivated chiefly in Corn & 
Indigo — and the upper Country in Tobacco, Corn, Hemp & 
in some degree the smaller grains 

It is nearly the same in N? Carolina, with this difference 
however that, as not much rice is planted there, especially in 
the Northern parts of the State, Corn, some Indigo, with 
Naval Stores & Porke, are substituted in its place, but as 
Ind° is on the decline Hemp, Cotton &c a are coming in its 
place. The Inland navigations of the Rivers of these three 
States may be improved (according to the ideas I have formed 
of the matter) to a very extensive degree — to great & useful 
purposes — and at a very moderate expence compared with 


Washington's Southern Tour 

the vast utility of the measure; inasmuch as the falls in all 
of them are trifling and their length great; (quite to the 
Mount 115 ) penetrating the Country in all directions by their 
lateral branches and in their present State except at the falls 
w * 1 as has been observed before are trifling except that of the 
Peedee navigable for vessels carrying sev! Hhd s of Tob? or 
other Articles in proportion. 

The prices at which these Rice lands in the lower parts of 
the St[atel are held is very great — those of yT w c ^ have been 
improved com d from 20 to 30 Sterl? — £50 has been given for 
some — and from £10 to 14 is the price of it in its rude state. 
— The Pine barrens adjoining these sell from one to two dol- 
lars pr Acre according to circumstances. — The interval Lands 
on the River below the falls, & above the Rice Swamps also 
command a good price but not equal to the ab e & the pine 
barrens less than those below — The lands of the upper 
Country sell from 4 to 6 or 7 dollars according to the quality 
and circumstances thereof. 

In the upper parts of N° Car a Wheat is pretty much grown 
& the Farmers seem disposed to try Hemp but the Land Car- 
riage is a considerable drawback having between 1 & 300 
Miles to carry their produce either to Ch s Town, Petersburgh 
or Wilmington w ch are their three great Marts though of late 
Fayettesville receives a g d deal of the bulky articles & they are 
water borne from thence to Wilmington. 

Excepting the Towns (and some Gentlemens Seats along the 
Road from Charleston to Savanna) there is not within view of 
the whole road I travelled from Petersburgh to this place, a 
single house which has anyth g of an elegant appearance — 
They are altogether of Wood & chiefly of logs — some ind d 
have brick chimneys but generally the chimneys are of Split 
sticks filled with dirt between them. 

The accommodations on the whole Road (except in the 
Towns and even there, as I was informed, for I had no oppor- 
tunity of Judging, lodgings having been provided for me in 
them at my own expence) we found extremely indifferent — 
the houses being small and badly provided, either for man or 
horse; though extra exertions when it was known I was com- 


Return to Mount Vernon 

ing, w ch was generally the case, were made to receive me. — 
It is not easy to say on which road — the one I went or the one 
I came — the entertainment is most indifferent — but with 
truth it may be a f d r ^ that both are bad. and to be ac- 
counted for from the kind of travellers which use them; which 
with a few exceptions only on the upp r R d are no other than 
waggoners & families removing, who, generally, take their 
provisions along with them — The people however appear to 
have abundant means to live with the grounds where they 
are settled yielding grain in abundance and the natural herb- 
age a multitude of meat with little or no lab r to provide food 
for the support of their Stock — especially in Georgia where it 
is said the Cattle live through the winter without any support 
from the owners of them. 

The manners of the people, as far as my observations, and 
means of information extended, were orderly and Civil. — 
and they appeared to be happy, contented and satisfied with 
the gen! governm' under which they are placed. — Where the 
case was otherwise, it was not difficult to trace the cause to 
some demagogue, or speculating character. — In Georgia the 
dissatisfied part of them at the late treaty with the C k Indians 
were evidently Land Jobbers, who, maugre every principle of 
Justice to the Indians & Policy to their Country would, for 
their own immediate emolument, strip the Ind ns of all their 
territory if they could obtain the least countenance to the 
measure. — but it is to be hoped the good sense of the State 
will set its face against such diabolical attemps. — and it is 
also to be wished — and by many it was said it might be ex- 
pected — that the sales by that State to what are called 
the Yazoo Companies would fall through 

The discontents which it was supposed the last Revenue 
Act (commonly known by the Excise Law) would create sub- 
side as fast as the law is explained — and little was said of the 
Banking Act. 
Sunday — 5'* 

Left the old Town about 4 Oclock a. m.; & breakfasting at 
one Prides (after crossing Banister River 1 \ Miles) ab l 1 1 Miles 
from it, came to Staunton River about 12; where meeting 


Washington's Southern Tour 

Col° Isaac Coles 1 (formerly a Member of Congress for this dis- 
trict &) who pressed me to it, I went to his house about one 
mile off to dine and to halt a day, for the refreshment of my- 
self and horses; — leaving my Servants and them at one of 
the usually indifferent Taverns at the Ferry that they might 
give no trouble, or be inconvenient to a private family. — 

Monday 6* 

Finding my Horses fared badly at the ferry for want of 
Grass, & Col Coles kindly pressing me to bring them to 
his Pasture, they were accordingly brought there to take the 
run of it till night. — dined at this Gentlemans today also. — 

The Road from Hallifax old C' H° or town to Staunton 
River passes for the most part over thin land a good deal 
mixed with Pine. 

1 Isaac Coles, son of John Coles, was born in Albemarle County, Vir- 
ginia, March 2, 1747. He entered the class of 1768 at the College of William 
and Mary. He was a landholder and planter of great wealth, owning exten- 
sive lands in Halifax, Pittsylvania, and Brunswick Counties, and exercised 
a powerful influence in local politics. Some time before 1769 he was elected 
a member of the House of Burgesses. In the Revolutionary War he served 
in the State militia, being eventually promoted to the rank of colonel. For 
a time he was a member of the State Senate. In 1788 he was a delegate to 
the State Convention to consider the United States Constitution, in which 
his influence and vote were cast against its ratification. He was elected to 
the First Congress (March 4, 1789, to March 3, 1791); reelected to the Third 
and Fourth Congresses (March 4, 1793, to March 3, 1797). He was an earnest 
supporter and friend of Thomas Jefferson and the politics he represented. 
He died June 2, 18 13. (From The Centennial of Washington's Inauguration, 
edited by C. W. Bowen.) 

When one of the ladies in the Coles family was asked, many years later, 
what had been said at her table by the august Washington, she replied that 
the only thing she could recall was that he praised the pudding! When Dr. 
Morgan Dix, rector of Trinity Church, New York, was visiting the Bruce 
estate in Virginia, he asked Lazarus, the colored butler, who had been in 
the Bruce family for sixty years, about this story. Lazarus, it must be un- 
derstood, did not think much of any white folks but his master's. "Laz- 
arus," said Dr. Dix, "I understand that General Washington once passed 
down Mr. Bruce 's plantation road. Do you remember anything about 
it?" "General Washington? General Washington?" replied Lazarus. "I 
never heard of him, sah! He wa'n't none of our folks." — This story was 
told me by the Virginian historian, Dr. Philip Alexander Bruce. 


Return to Mount Vernon 

Tuesday — f h 

Left Col Coles by day break, and breakfasted at Charlotte 
O H° 15 Miles where I was detained sometime to get Shoes 
put on such horses as had lost them — proceeded afterwards 
to Prince Edward Court House 20 Miles further. 

The Lands from Staunton to Charlotte C'H° are in gen 1 
good; & pretty thickly settled; They are cultivated chiefly in 
Tob° Wheat & Corn, with Oats and flax. — The Houses (tho' 
none eleg 1 ) are in gen' decent & bespeak good livers; being 
for the most part weatherboarded & shingled, with brick 
Chimnies — but from Charlotte C l H° to Prince Edward G 
H° the lands are of an inferior quality with few inhabitants in 
sight of the Road. — it is said they are thick settled off it, 
the Roads by keeping the Ridge pass on the most indifferent 

Wednesday — 8'* 

Left Prince Edward C* H° as soon as it was well light, & 
breakfasted at one Treadways 13 Miles off. — dined at Cum- 
berland O H° 14 Miles further — and lodged at Moores 
Tavern within 1 Miles from Carters ferry over James 
River — 

The Road from Prince Edward Court H° to Treadways 
was very thickly settled, although the land appeared thin, 
and the growth in a great degree pine. & from Treadways 
to Cumberland O H? they were equally well settled on better 
land, less mixed, and in places not mixed at all with pine 
— the buildings appear to be better. — 

Thursday g" 1 

Set off very early from Moores but the proper ferry boat 
being hauled up, we were a tedious while crossing in one of the 
Boats used in the navigation of the River; being obliged to 
carry one carriage at a time without horses & crossways the 
Boat on planks. — Breakfasted at a Widow pains 17 Miles on 
the N° side of the River, and lodged at a M rs Jordans a pri- 
vate house where we were kindly entertained and to which we 
were driven by necessity having Rode not less than 25 Miles 
from our breakfasting stage through very bad Roads in a 


Washington^ s s Southern Tour 

very sultry day with 1 any refreshment & by missing the 
right road had got to it. — 

From the River to the Widow Pains, & thence to Ander- 
sons bridge over the North Anna Branch of Pamunky, the 
Lands are not good nor thickly settled on the Road, but are 
a good deal mix d w. Pine; nor does the Soil & growth promise 
much (except in places) from thence for several miles further; 
but afterwards, throughout the County of Louisa, which is 
entered after passing the Bridge, the River over which it is 
made dividing it from Goochland they are much better & con- 
tinued so with little exception quite to M rs Jordans 

Friday — \o lh 

Left M rs Jordans early, & breakfasted at one Johnstons 7 
Miles off reached Fredericksburgh after another (short) halt 
about 3 Oclock & dined and lodged at my Sister Lewis's 

The Lands from M rs Jordans to Johnsons, and from thence 
for several miles further are good but not rich afterwards (as 
you approach nearer to Rappahannock River they appear to 
be of a thinner quality & more inclined to black Jacks 

Saturday — 1 2** 

About Sunrise we were off — breakfasted at Dumfries and 
arrived at M' V n to Dine. . . . 

It is worthy of note that Washington, as evidenced by 
this tour, was revered and venerated as the true father of 
his country. In their address to Washington, the Masons 
of Prince George's Lodge, No. 16 (Modern), Georgetown, 
South Carolina, use the phrase: "At a time when all men 
are emulous to approach you to express the lively sensa- 
tions you inspire as the Father of our country etc." The 
people of Georgetown, likewise, in their address to Wash- 
ington, refer to him as "first Magistrate of the Federal 
Republic, that person, whom of all men we are most dis- 
posed to revere as our benefactor, and to love as the father 


■ • \ •• 1 

n if-*" ■' ; * a 





Return to Mount Vernon 

of his country." And the City Council of Charleston in 
their address to Washington use the words: "When in 
the person of the Supreme Magistrate of the United States, 
they recognize the Father of the people etc." The idea of 
filial devotion to Washington as paternal guide and fa- 
therly leader was uppermost in the minds and hearts of the 
people, and found voice in their addresses. 

The gratification of the American people upon Wash- 
ington's safe return to Mount Vernon was hearty and 
unaffected. It found voice in the public prints of the 
day, as in these lines from the "Columbian Centinel" 
of Boston : 

"Kind Heav'n, O send him safely back," we pray'd, 
Nor were the intercession urged in vain, 
The tour perform'd, and millions happy made, 
His Vernon hails in health its Lord again. 

Nor was Philadelphia silent when the President finally 
reached the capital — his return being greeted by the 
ringing of bells, the firing of artillery, and general celebra- 
tion. The Pennsylvania poet likewise found expression 
for his emotions over the happy event in this sentiment 
printed in the "Gazette of the United States": 

Not heroes in triumphant cars, 
Victorious in their country's wars, 
With captives, spoils, and glory crown'd 
Whose peans make the skies resound; 
Experience half the joys they know 
Who live to lessen human woe; 
The progress of whose godlike mind, 
Is but a Tour to bless mankind. 

Something of the contemporary deification of Washington 


Washington's Southern Tour 

is exhibited in poems which call him the "Lord" of Mount 
Vernon and describe his mind as "godlike." 

A study of the newspapers of the day likewise results 
in the discovery of essays on Washington, evoked by the 
tour and its attendant circumstances. "No year of the 
world," says an anonymous writer in the "Columbian 
Herald" of Charleston, South Carolina, "has ever been 
distinguished by any event perfectly similar to the ever 
memorable tour of the President of the United States, 
through a country of fourteen hundred miles extent, de- 
fended by the valour of his arms, and the intrepidity of 
that mind, which no combination of gloomy prospects 
could disturb or subvert. It is true, we read of no man in 
history, whose greatness of conception, or vastness of am- 
bition had aspired to accomplish a revolution of equal 
magnitude, connected with equal virtue." After comparing 
— unfavorably to Washington — Louis XIV, Alexander 
the Great, Caesar, Scipio Africanus, and Peter the Great, 
the writer launches forth upon an unmeasured eulogy 
of the "American General" — concluding with this highly 
pictorial tribute: 

If a stranger from some remote corner of the globe were to 
land in this city on Monday the 2nd instant, and observe the 
tumult and concourse of men, women and children, moving 
with the utmost expedition to the harbour; impatience and 
earnestness as evident in their countenances as their motion, 
would it not be natural for him earnestly to enquire what was 
the motive to all this scene, having to him the appearance of 
some confusion? but if it could be explained to him, that a 
hundred thousand persons were collected to receive and con- 
fer every applause in their power on a great man, whom they 


Return to Mount Vernon 

hourly expected, who defended freedom, the equal rights of 
men, and laid the foundation of a mighty empire, governed by 
laws of the people's own enaction, and all this against the 
strongest fleet in the world, aided by a martial army, and sup- 
plied by the wealth of nations, — this man surely would not 
wonder to see the first characters in the state for eminence of 
wisdom and fortune, the three learned professions, the cor- 
porate body of the city, the merchants, the citizens, an im- 
mense concourse of strangers, a numerous appearance of la- 
dies, who presented the splendid scene of beauty, gaiety and 
brilliant attire, all crowding to pay the homage of the heart 
to the deliverer of America. His appearance was peculiarly 
marked with dignity, and the serenity as well as the satisfac- 
tion which sat on his countenance, made every pulse in every 
frame responsive; which brought to our memory the following 
beautiful compliment to an eminent poet — would to God we 
had now such a poet for a subject more transcendantly bright 
and interesting to future generations. 

voltus ubis tuus 
affulsit populo, gratior it dies 
Et soles melius nitent. Hor. 

Whene'er thy countenance divine, 
The attendant people cheers; 
The genial suns more radiant shine 
The day more glad appears. 

In a more restrained tone, also from a Charleston paper, 
is "An Essay towards the Character of the President of 
the United States," which was approvingly copied in many 
gazettes of the day throughout the country. Speaking 
of Washington as military commander, the anonymous 
author pertinently observes: "Indefatigably laborious and 
active, coolly intrepid in action, he discerns, as by intu- 
ition, seizes with rapidity, and improves with skill, the 
short, favourable and often defective moments of battle." 


Washington^ 's Southern Tour 

A biographer of to-day might have written these lines 
descriptive of Washington: "Resolute and undejected 
in misfortune, he has risen superior to distresses and 
struggled with difficulties, which no courage or constancy, 
but his own, could have resisted or surmounted." A 
most significant feature of this tribute is this sentiment: 
"Arriving at a situation far more dignified than a king, 
you yet find him a citizen and a patriot." And genuine 
insight is exhibited in the concluding observation of the 
essay: "Many a private man might make a great presi- 
dent; but will there ever be a president who will make 
so great a private man as Washington?" 

Better proof of the advantage which Washington him- 
self reaped from this tour could not be found than the 
President's own observations, recorded in his diary, upon 
the people, the country, and the general conditions of 
thinking and living. Not the least significant testimony to 
the remarkable change in the agricultural stress in the 
South is found in Washington's omission of cotton from 
the list he gave of the "principal exports" from Charleston. 
"No mention yet of cotton among the staple products of 
the South," comments Edward Everett writing in i860. 
"As late as 1794, it was not known to Chief Justice Jay, 
when he negotiated his treaty with England, that it was 
likely to be an article of United States Commerce. So 
recently has this great element of trade and of the 
wealth of nations made its appearance on this side of the 
ocean!" l 

1 The Mount Vernon Papers. (D. Appleton & Co., New York, i860.) 


Return to Mount Vernon 

In a characteristic letter to the Marquis de la Fayette ; 
for whom he felt a deep and genuine attachment, Wash- 
ington once wrote: "Nothing but harmony, honesty, in- 
dustry, and frugality are necessary to make us a great and 
happy people. Happily the present posture of affairs and 
the prevailing disposition of my countrymen, promise to 
co-operate in establishing those four great and essential 
pillars of public felicity." As if to assure the Frenchman, 
whom he regarded as an adopted American, that his 
expectations in these respects concerning a part of the 
United States, the South, had in great measure been ful- 
filled, Washington writes him from Philadelphia, July 28, 

On the 6 of this month I returned from a tour through the 
southern States, which had employed me for more than three 
months — In the course of this journey I have been highly 
gratified in observing the flourishing state of the Country, 
and the good disposition of the people — Industry and econ- 
omy have become very fashionable in those parts . . . , and the 
labours of man are assisted by the blessings of Providence — 
The attachment of all Classes of citizens to the general Gov- 
ernment seems to be a pleasing presage of their future happi- 
ness and respectability. 

With an expression of confident belief that the estab- 
lishment of public credit was "an immense point gained 
in our national concerns," Washington writes in simi- 
lar strain to Gouverneur Morris (Philadelphia, July 28, 

In my late tour thro' the southern States I experienced 
great satisfaction in seing the good effects of the general 
Government in that part of the Union — The people at large 


Washington' *s Southern Tour 

have felt the security which it gives and the equal justice 
which it administers to them. The Farmer — the Merchant 
— and the Mechanic have seen their several interests at- 
tended to, and from thence they unite in placing a confidence 
in their representatives, as well as in those in whose hands the 
execution of the laws is placed — Industry has there taken 
the place of idleness, and economy of dissipation — Two or 
three years of good crops, and a ready market for the produce 
of their lands has put every one in good humour — and, in 
some instances they even impute to the government what is 
due only to the goodness of Providence. 

This shrewd and humorous observation may be said to an- 
nounce the birth of political parties in American his- 

A vivid and pleasant memento of the Southern tour is 
the exchange of letters between Washington and General 
Moultrie, given here in full : 

Charleston July 10.1791 
Dear & respected Sir 

Permit me very sincerely to congratulate you on your safe 
return to Philadelphia and to hope that no more difficulties 
occurred to you on your return home than what happened on 
your journey through the lower part of this country while I 
had the honor to attend you; my earnest wish is, that your 
friendly visit to these Southern States will not be attended 
with any evil consequences to your constitution, but that the 
long journey and the very great change of climate may estab- 
lish your health & lengthen your days in peace and happiness; 
the citizens of this country (especially the ladies) will ever 
have a gratefull sense of your visit — and be assured Sir (while 
I had the honor of being one of your family) I have set it down 
in the catalogue of my life among the very happy days which 
I have enjoyed, and have only to regret that my situation is 
such that I cannot have the honor of paying my respects to 
you more frequently; I will endeavour before my final close of 
life, to pay you my last farewell visit; In the meantime I must 


Return to Mount Vernon 

request you will do me the honor, to present my most respect- 
full compliments to M rs Washington. 
I have the honor to be Dear Sir 
with great respect & regard 

Your most ob l & very hum Ie Serv' 

Will? Moultrie 
The President 
(Endorsed): From 
General Moultrie 
July 10, 1 79 1 

Philadelphia August 9, 1791 
General Moultrie 
I have had the pleasure, my dear Sir, to receive your friendly 
letter of the 10th of last month — and I reply with affec- 
tionate regard to your congratulations and kind wishes — A 
slight indisposition, since my return, (occasioned by a tumor, 
not much unlike the one I had at N. York in 1789) of which 
I am now recovered, does not forbid the expectation that 
my health may be ultimately improved by my tour thro' the 
southern States — My happiness has certainly been pro- 
moted by the excursion, and no where in a greater degree 
than while resident among my fellow-citizens of South Caro- 
lina — To their attentions (yours in particular) I shall always 
confess myself much obliged, and particularly flattered by the 
regards of your fair Compatriots, to whom I wish, upon every 
occasion, to be remembered with grateful respect. 

I shall realize your promise of a visit with sincere satisfac- 
tion — Till then, and always I beg you to believe me, 

With the greatest regard and esteem, 
My dear Sir, 

Your &° a 

G. Washington 

The most detailed summary of Washington's impres- 
sions of the South as received on this tour, to be found 
preserved in his correspondence, is the letter to his former 
secretary and aide, David Humphreys. To this dear friend, 


Washington's Southern Tour 

now United States Minister to Portugal, stating that he 

has been "in the enjoyment of very good health" during 

his journey and has " rather gained flesh upon it," he gives 

this memorable epitome of the impressions made on him 

by the Southern Tour: 

Philadelphia July 20, 1791 
David Humphreys Esquire 

My dear Sir, 

... In my last I mentioned my intention of visiting the 
southern States which I have since accomplished, and have 
the pleasure to inform you, that I performed the journey of 
1887 miles without meeting with any interruption by sickness, 
bad weather, or any untoward accident — Indeed so highly 
were we favored that we arrived at each place, where I pro- 
posed to make a halt, on the very day I fixed upon before we 
set out — The same horses performed the whole tour, and, 
although much reduced in flesh, kept up their full spirits to 
the last day. 

I am much pleased that I have taken this journey as it has 
enabled me to see with my own eyes the situation of the coun- 
try thro' which we travelled, and to learn more accurately the 
disposition of the people than I could have done by any in- 

The country appears to be in a very improving state, and 
industry and frugality are becoming much more fashionable 
than they have hitherto been there — Tranquillity reigns 
among the people, with that disposition towards the general 
government which is likely to preserve it — They begin to 
feel the good effects of equal laws and equal protection — 
The farmer finds a ready market for his produce, and the mer- 
chant calculates with more certainty on his payments — 
Manufactures have as yet made but little progress in that 
part of the country, and it will probably be a long time before 
they are brought to that state to which they have already ar- 
rived in the middle and eastern parts of the Union. 

Each days experience of the Government of the United 


Return to Mount Vernon 

States seems to confirm its establishment and to render it 
more popular. — A ready acquiescence in the laws made un- 
der it shews in a strong light the confidence which the people 
have in their representatives, and in the upright views of 
those who administer the government — At the time of pass- 
ing a law imposing a duty on home made spirits, it was vehe- 
mently affirmed by many that such a law could never be 
executed in the southern States, particularly in Virginia and 
North Carolina. As this law came in force only on the first of 
this month little can be said of its effects from experience; but 
from the best information I could get on my journey respect- 
ing its operation on the minds of the people (and I took some 
pains to obtain information on this point) there remains no 
doubt but it will be carried into effect not only without 
opposition, but with very general approbation in those very 
parts where it was foretold that it would never be submitted 
to by anyone. 

It is possible, however, and perhaps not improbable that 
some Demagogue may start up, and produce and get signed 
some resolutions declaratory of their disapprobation of the 

Our public credit stands on that ground which three years 
ago it would have been considered a species of madness to 
have foretold. The astonishing rapidity with which the newly 
instituted Bank was filled gives an unexampled proof (here) 
of the resources of our Countrymen and their confidence in 
public measures. 

On the first day of opening the subscription the whole num- 
ber of shares (20,000) were taken up in one hour, and appli- 
cation made for upwards of 4,000 shares more than were 
granted by the Institution, besides many others that were 
coming in from different quarters. 

Mrs. Washington desires her best wishes may be presented 
to you — 

You are always assured, my dear Sir, of those of 
Your sincere and affectionate friend 

G. Washington 


Washington' s Southern Tour 

In his "A Poem on the Death of General Washington," ' 
Humphreys, the trusted friend and close associate, has be- 
queathed to posterity this faithful portrait of Washington, 
true Father of his Country, whose tours of the United 
States were prompted by paternal love for the American 
People, the children of his great heart : 

When, nigh ador'd, too great to need parade, 

He through the States his pleasing progress made; 

What gratulations pure the patriot met! 

What cheeks with tears of gratitude were wet! 

While useful knowledge from each State he gain'd, 

Prais'd their improvements and their bliss explain'd; 

While bridges, roads, canals in every State, 

And growing fabrics owned his influence great; 

Such goodness mark'd each act, in every place 

He left impressions time can ne'er efface. 

Then rose the favour'd States beneath his smile, 

Adorn'd, enrich'd, and strengthen'd by his toil; 

Then millions felt what happiness ensued, 

And hail'd their country's father great and good. 

1 The Miscellaneous Works of David Humphreys. (T. and J. Swords, New 
York, 1804.) See footnote, Chapter I.